MEADVILLE – Bison heavyweight Sean Owen pinned his way for a third Tool City Invitational crown and the tournament’s Class AAA Outstanding Wrestler Award Saturday night in Meadville.
“He had four pins in four matches. We were all very happy for him. Looking back on the last few years, we haven’t had an outstanding wrestler at one of these tournaments. We have always thought about Matt (Kyler) and Bradley (Pataky) and hoped that Sean would get one, too. This was just his weekend,” Assistant coach Andy Squires said.
Owen battled Kris Tursky (Conneaut Lake) in a re-match of last year’s tournament final that saw a 2-1 overtime win for the Bison returning state champion.
Owen entered the championship bout a perfect 15-0 with 13 falls on the season. Tursky, then, had a 13-1 mark for the year.
Tursky was ranked sixth in the Pennsylvania Wrestling Rankings and seventh in the PA Power Rankings. Owen tops both set of standings.
Owen used a double leg takedown and had Tursky on his back for an early 2-0 advantage. But near fall points were not awarded after the Bison senior secured the takedown.
Tursky nearly escaped with 21 seconds left in the first, but Owen maintained control and almost collected back points again at the buzzer.
Starting neutral in the second, Tursky made a shot attempt. Owen, however, cranked him over to his back for the fall 10 seconds into the stanza.
“Sean was familiar with the kid. He had placed at regionals last year. I think he was just excited for some good competition. But I wouldn’t say that he approached it any differently than any other match,” Squires said.
Owen, who now has a 108-26 career mark, passed former Clearfield heavyweight standout Tim Taylor (107-29) and moved into sixth place on the team’s All-Time Wins List.
Owen and Tursky pinned a combined five opponents while punching their tickets to the tournament’s finals.
Owen scored falls over Anthony Szymczak (Erie Cathedral Prep, 2:47), Cody Reesman (Howland, 1:54) and Matt Knapp (Meadville, 3:18) in his semi-final.
Tursky had a pair of pins as well as a 2-1 overtime win over Joe Chittester (Ridgway).
Both Bison Holden Lowe and Derek Danver recorded third place finishes at 130 and 145 pounds, respectively.
Lowe used a reversal and takedown to upend Matthew Gregory (North East) 4-1 in his consolation final.
En route his bronze, the Bison senior bounced back from a 2-1 semi-final loss and majored Kai Yancey (Howland) by a 13-2 score.
“We thought he could have won (the semi-final), but it was close and a one-point match. He wrestled hard,” Squires said.
Squires also said that Lowe came back and put up solid wins to finish off his tournament.
“He really scored a lot of points. I think he realized just how many points that he can score if he wrestles for six minutes. He really opened up his offense,” he said.
At 145, Danver took a 3-0 advantage over Cory Battista (Indian Valley) into the final period, where he upped his lead with two takedowns. He won the bout by a 7-2 score for a third place medal of his own.
“Derek had a good tournament in a heavy weight class,” Squires said, adding that Battista had finished fourth at last year’s regional tournament.
Danver avenged his 17-6 semi-final loss to Jamal Lyons (Erie Cathedral Prep) by pulling out a 4-2 decision over Jesse Preisler (Corry) for a spot in the bronze medal bout.
Squires said that his sophomore had “kind of a bad draw,” as he found himself in the top bracket with Lyons but also said that it would be valuable experience for the post-season.
Squires, however, noted that Danver had a legitimate takedown on Lyons, who is currently ranked sixth in the state in the PA Power Rankings. He said that takedown gave his 145-pounder a bit of confidence.
Clearfield’s Kodie Lowder (112) and Andrew Spicer (119) earned fourth places finishes, while both Shane Peters (103) and Shawn Hall (171) claimed fifth place medals. Bison Andre Buck took sixth for the tournament.
“Overall, I think that we had a good tournament. We had some disappointments and let downs. But we battled, stayed off our backs and wrestled hard,” Squires said.
Clearfield will return to action Tuesday at Philipsburg.
Click here for the Tool City Tournament brackets.