HERSHEY — The PIAA recently released the pairings for the 2016 PIAA State AAA Wrestling Championships, which will take place beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Giant Center. The preliminaries, championship first round, and first round of consolations will all take place during the marathon first session.
Clearfield’s two entrants are 170 pound sophomore Luke McGonigal and 195 pound senior Travis Ogden.
McGonigal, back for his second trip to the state championships, will have to wrestle one of the four preliminary bouts in the 20-man weight class. McGonigal (37-3), the Northwest Region third place finisher, will meet junior Matt McGillick (29-11), the Southwest Region fourth place finisher, out of Penn-Trafford High School.
Competing as a 145 pound freshman a year ago, McGonigal was 0-2 at the state tourney.
While McGonigal is up three weight classes from a year ago, his counterpart McGillick has gone down a weight class each of the past two years. McGillick was 24-12 as a 195 pound freshman, then was 27-14 as a 182 pounder last year. Also a PIAA qualifier a year ago, McGillick was injured at his regional tourney and didn’t actually wrestle at the state tournament. McGillick takes a three year 80-37 career record to Hershey, while McGonigal is 63-16 in his two years.
All three of McGonigal’s losses this year have been to General McLane’s Ethan Laird, the most recent a 3-1 overtime loss at last weekend’s Northwest Region tourney. Laird owns a 5-2 win over McGillick this past December.
The winner of the preliminary bout will face the South Central champion, undefeated Jared Siegrist (32-0) of Manheim Central, in the round of 16.
Ogden will be making his first trip to the state tourney, as he fell a spot short at the Northwest Regional tournament a year ago.
In first round action, Ogden, the regional runner-up, will face off against Upper St. Clair’s Eli Grape (33-2), also a runner-up in the Southwest Region. Both of Grape’s losses this year have been to undefeated Drew Hipps (38-0) of Norwin.
Grape owns an almost identical career record as Ogden. The Upper St. Clair junior comes in with a 92-19 mark versus Ogden’s 95-17 record.
Grape placed eighth at the state tourney a year ago, losing to Mifflin County’s Trey Hartsock 3-2 in the seventh place medal bout. Hartsock handed Ogden a 6-2 defeat in last week’s regional finals.
A quarterfinal match-up with either Joe Doyle (41-6) from Council Rock South, Charles Wildermuth (32-8) from Oley Valley, or Greg Bensley (34-7) from Pocono Mountain West awaits the winner of the Ogden/Grape match.
Three state champions return to defend their 2015 titles. They are 106 pounder Tyson Klump (36-9) from Nazareth, 120 pound Spencer Lee (8-0) from Franklin Regional, and 126 pound Luke Karam (33-3) from Bethlehem Catholic. A fourth state champion, 220 pound Jordan Wood from Boyertown, was injured and unable to compete at his regional tourney.
Complete brackets courtesy PA-Wrestling.com can be found here: