CLARION — The Clearfield Bison had all six of their wrestlers that made it to Saturday morning’s Districts 4-9 semifinals advance to the Northwest Regional tournament next weekend at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse.
The Bison went 3-3 in the championship semis with Logan Gilbert at 113, Travis Ogden at 182, and Jake Verchick at 285 winning their bouts to advance to the championship finals.
Sophomore number one seed Gilbert (19-14), a fourth place finisher last year, won his first district title with a 5-3 victory over Shikellamy’s Tyler Hepler (18-11).
Fellow sophomore Ogden (26-11), a first year varsity wrestler, lost 14-5 to number one seed Dominic Loffredo (26-6) of Jersey Shore in his first finals appearance.
Senior Verchick (23-7), also a number one seed, managed to win his first district title by outlasting Jersey Shore’s Bryce Charles (12-7) by a 5-4 score that came down to the ultimate tie-breaker.
The three Bison that lost in the championship semis, Josiah McClarren at 120, Noah Cline at 126, and Tallin Norris at 138, then won their consolation semifinal bouts to move on to the consy finals to assure a top-4 finish and another weekend of wrestling.
Cline (23-8) was the lone consy finalist to win his bout to earn a bronze medal with a fall in 1:44 over Williamsport’s Richard Lowrie. McClarren (19-15) lost a slugfest 15-13 to DuBois’ Kody Cox and Norris (10-15) was ‘mixed’ and pinned in 18 seconds against Kyle Pecht of St. Marys. McClarren and Norris each matched their pre-tourney 4th seed.
Cline was upset 7-5 in overtime in the winner’s bracket semifinals by Jersey Shore’s Noah Ulmer to fall one spot below his number two seed.
Five other Bison made it to Saturday’s consies, but none could advance far enough to reach Saturday night’s finals. They were Thayne Morgan at 106, Logan Puit at 132, Grant Climie at 152, Tristan Carruthers at 160, and Nate Lash at 220. The final two Bison, Jaret McCracken at 145 and Logan Lykens at 170 were eliminated Friday night.
The Bison, with 93 points, finished sixth out of nine teams in the team race, which was won by St. Marys with 161.5 points.
Other champions were Brock Adams (17-12) of DuBois at 106, Roshaun Cooley (15-0) of Williamsport at 120, Shae Bloom (28-4) of DuBois at 126, Joel Bowers (26-1) of Punxsutawney at 132, Kaleb Young (27-0) of Punxsutawney at 138, Josh Schuckers (26-8) of Punxsutawney at 145, Perry Arrington (24-7) of Punxsutawney at 152, William Gabor (22-7) of St. Marys at 160, Nathan Bingaman (22-8) of Selinsgrove, Tom Sleigh (29-0) of DuBois at 195, and Dwayne Pepper (19-3) of Shikellamy at 220.
Young was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler and Shawn Weaver of Jersey Shore was awarded the 2013-14 AAA District 4-9 Coach of the Year.
Sleigh’s title was his fourth for the Beavers, while Bloom, Bowers, Young and Pepperday eached notched their second.
Complete results courtesy Bob Imhof and the Ridgway Wrestling website: http://www.ridgwaywrestling.com/uploads/2014_District_IX_Class_AAA_Tournament_Brackets_-_Finals.pdf