Pine-Richland youth wrestlers place at states
Two Pine-Richland boys wrestlers had strong performances at the 2019 Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Youth State Tournament on March 16-17 at Petersen Events Center. Both secured a spot on the podium in their respective weight classes.
Both competed in the 11-12 age bracket, with Maclane Miller taking fourth in the 105-pound weight class, and Vaughn Spencer winning the 125-pound division.
For Miller, it was his first time qualifying for the state tournament. And his debut didn’t begin as planned as he lost his first match 4-0 to Pottsgrove’s Adam Waters, the eventual champion at 105.
Miller remained undeterred and rallied to win six consecutive matches, qualifying for the third-place consolation match.
“I was just thinking that I had to come back,” he said. “I had to put it aside and not worry about it. I just had to worry about wrestling my way back into it, one match at a time.
“Six matches, it was a lot of matches, but they went by fast. And I just kept feeling more confident as I kept winning.”
Spencer was participating in his fourth consecutive youth state tournament. In his previous three trips, the 125-pounder was runner-up once and finished fourth twice.
This year, he won all five of his matches to take gold. In the title match, he defeated Bekhruz Sadriddinov, 4-0. Spencer said the accomplishment was made sweeter because was able to win gold in front of friends and family in attendance.
“This is the first time that states have been in Pittsburgh,” he said. “It was pretty awesome because my wrestling coaches were the ones running the tournament.
“And it was great because all the local guys I know where there, and then my entire family could come down because it was close by. Usually, it’s further away, so they aren’t always able to make it. But it was cool to be there, and the crowd was huge.”
Spencer also credited his brother, Cole, with helping coach him before each match.
Kevin Lohman is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.