Last Updated: Sun Feb 19, 2023 - 3:54AM
Connellsville made it a trifecta while 15 of the area's top junior high wrestlers captured gold in the 2023 Junior High Southwest Regional Tournament at Norwin on Saturday.
The Falcons put on a very impressive showing placing five wrestlers into the championships with three capturing gold medals including Nolan Rice (103), Kal Vielma (132) and Cooper Lembo (157). Connellsville, which won its third straight team title, easily outpaced the pack finishing with 240.5 points. The total was well ahead of second place Franklin Regional's mark of 183 points. Rounding out the top five were Trinity (172.5), Norwin (167) and Kiski Area (166.5).
Derry Area, the only Class AA school in the top 15, finished in sixth place with 152.5 points. Mason Horwat won the 140 pound title for the Trojans with a 5-2 decision over Franklin Regional's Max Firestine.
West Allegheny had two champions crowned as Michael Johnson (82) and Cameron Danna (252) each took home gold medals.
Roman Thompson of North Hills was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after he posted first period falls in all five of his matches. Thompson pinned Connellsville's Wyatt Hall at 1:08 in the 192 pound final.
Last year's Outstanding Wrestler, Landon Sidun of Norwin, lost in the quarterfinals to Mount Pleasant's Tristan Wtorkiewicz on a disqualification due to a clerical error. Sidun was the top seed in the 117 pound bracket and had recorded two falls before being disqualified.
The regional, in its 11th year, included 52 total teams.
2023 Junior High Southwest Regional Finals Results
82: Michael Johnson (West Allegheny) DEC Jackson Hoy (Trinity), 8-2
89: Coleton Klipa (Norwin) DEC Tommy Gretz (Connellsville), 1-0
96: Nick Mcgarrity (Peters Township) DEC Dylan Bateman (Derry Area), 4-0
103: Nolan Rice (Connellsville) DEC Michael Ruane (Franklin Regional), 3-2
110: Brooks Blasko (Shaler Area) F Evan Sala (Mt. Lebanon), 1:19
117: Luke Desantis (Penn-Trafford) DEC Tristan Wtorkiewicz (Mount Pleasant), 6-2
124: Luke Boyer (Elizabeth Forward) F Devin Junko (Trinity), 0:25
132: Kai Vielma (Connellsville) DEC Alek Palko (Jefferson Morgan), 4-3
140: Mason Horwat (Derry Area) DEC Max Firestine (Franklin Regional), 5-2
147: Mario Hutcherson (Kiski Area) F Chace Petrosky (Belle Vernon), 0:46
157: Cooper Lembo (Connellsville) DEC Aiden Catterall (Norwin), 7-5
172: Hunter Snyder (Greater Latrobe) MD Abrahm Taylor (Kiski Area), 9-1
192: Roman Thompson (North Hills) F Wyatt Hall (Connellsville), 1:08
212: Taye Bradshaw (Armstrong) DEC Matthew Richards (Trinity), 5-3
252: Cameron Danna (West Allegheny) DEC Aiden Piper (Derry Area), 5-2
Team Standings Top 10
Connellsville: 240.5 points
Franklin Regional: 183 points
Trinity: 172.5 points
Norwin: 167 points
Kiski Area: 166.5 points
Derry Area: 152.5 points
West Allegheny: 141 points
North Hills: 130 points
Shaler: 115 points
Moon: 105 points