CLARION — After the first evening of wrestling at the District 4-9 Wrestling Championships at Clarion University, the Clearfield Bison wrestling team has all 10 of its wrestlers still alive with seven still in contention for a district crown.
Sitting in a deceiving eigthth place out of nine teams because four of their 10 entries received byes, and no team points, to the semifinals, Clearfield went 3-3 in matches contested Friday night.
St. Marys sits in first place with 31 teams points and nine semifinalists, while pre-meet favorite DuBois lurks in second with 28 points and also has nine semifinalists. Clearfield has nine team points to edge out Williamsport’s six to avoid the cellar.
At 106, freshman Logan Gilbert (21-10), the number six seed, got the tourney off on the right foot for the Bison when he upended the number three seed Noah Ulmer (16-11) of Jersey Shore 2-1. A semifinal match up with Shae Bloom (32-4) of DuBois awaits Gilbert Saturday morning when AAA action begins at 11:00 am.
Sophomore Jon Sponsler (7-15) was shutout by St. Marys’ Alex Coudriet (15-12) at 138 and will face Shikellamy’s Nick Cashdollar (7-14) in the first round of consolations Saturday.
Nolan Barger took over the team lead in wins with 29, against one loss, when he tech falled Logan Boyer of Selinsgrove 17-0 at the 4:00 mark. Barger will be heavily favored in the semis against Jeff Bottenhorn of Punxsutawney who is 5-14 on the year.
At 152, Mike Beck (10-16) lost to Curtis Welch (11-14) of Jersey Shore 8-4 and will face Keegan Fisher (6-12) of Punxsutawney in the second round of consolations.
Clearfield’s Grant Climie (3-16) was pinned in 1:37 by William Gabor (14-8) of St. Marys and will drop down to face Mike Betts (1-15) of Selinsgrove in a second round consolation bout.
And at 285, Bison junior Jake Verchick (13-15) won by fall over DuBois’ Nate Petitti in 5:26 and will face Bradford’s Dakota Sera (14-6) in the semifinals.
Receving byes into Saturday’s semifinals were Josiah McClarren (12-14) at 113, Noah Cline (22-10) at 120, Dylan Graham (27-3) at 126, and Christian Stone (28-1) at 132.
McClarren will face Allen Saar (13-14) from Jersey Shore; Cline has St. Marys’ William McGonnelll (9-12), Graham gets Austin Gahr (7-19) of DuBois, and Stone will wrestle Jersey Shore’s Hayden Swartwood (22-9).
Wrestling will resume Saturday morning at the Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium at 11:00 am with the semifinals, which will be immediately followed by two rounds of consolation action. The consolation finals will be at 5:30 pm, followed by the Parade of Champions at 6:30 pm. The top four finishers in each weight class will adavnce to the Northwest Regional Tournament on March 1 and 2 at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse.
Full results courtesy Escape Sports: http://liveresults.escapesports.com/PIAA/2013_District_4_9_AAA_Tournament.html