High School Wrestling

Pennsylvania Freestylers Punch Their Tickets to Fargo

By Willie Saylor – Editor – The Open Mat

Shippensburg University
Shippensburg, PA—

After two rounds Friday night, and ten more hours of wrestling inside a sweltering Heiges Field House Saturday, Spencer Myers and Nate Gaffney gave perhaps the best show of the freestyle competition in the last junior final of the night.

Three months after they had battled in PIAA’s AAA folkstyle finals, Myers and Gaffney reprised their title match, this time with a state freestyle championship on the line. In March, in Hershey, Myers had staked an early lead only to sprain his ankle during the match and eventually fall to Gaffney, 5-4.

What they gave us on Saturday was a three-period epic.

Myers, (Selinsgrove, Jr.) with redemption on his mind, stormed out to a 6-0 first-period technical fall and seemed poised to take the title in two periods. Up 1-0 in the second via his patented low-single, Myers found himself in a scramble position with just seconds remaining. With a brilliant, if desperate measure, Gaffney (Connelsville, Jr.) converted a turn to score a hand-to-hand exposure and win the match 1-1 (last point criteria).

In the final stanza, Gaffney used Myers’ aggressive low-singles to his advantage. Twice Gaffney scored on lifts while Myers was in on shots. With under a minute to go, Gaffney led the third and decisive period, 6-3. After two successful Myers’ takedowns cut the lead to 6-5, Myers’ applied a gut wrench with just seconds remaining. Gaffney wobbled. Myers squeezed. Gaffney posted. Myers twisted. And, as the buzzer sounded, with one hand on the mat and one in the air, Gaffney’s shoulders remained just outside of scoring criteria.

Gaffney had backed-up his folkstyle title, with a freestyle championship, both coming in close matches at Myers’ expense.

While maybe the most suspenseful, Gaffney and Myers weren’t the only familiar foes in the finals. Evan Craig (Abington Heights, Jr.) downed Tyler DeMott 3-0, 6-4 in the 285lb. finals with a 3 point score in the closing seconds of period 2. DeMott (Benton, Jr.) defeated Craig in last year’s Cadet National Championship final.

2009 Pennsylvania Junior Freestyle Finals Results

98 Robert D’Annuzio

105 Corey Keener WBF over Cody Wheeler

112 Greg Rinker WBF over Colton Keck

119 Mike Rhone 4-0, 1-0(clinch) over Nico Megaludis

125 Cameron Throckmorton 0-1, 2-0, 4-1 over Patrick Myers

130 Sam Sherlock 7-1, 7-0 over Garth Mahosky

135 Josh Kindig 6-0, 6-0 over Matt Martoccio

140 Andrew Alton 6-0, 7-2 over Mark Hartenstine

145 Dylan Alton 6-0, 5-0 over Jake O’Hara

152 Eric Hess WBF over Craemer Hedash

160 Corey Lear 2-0, 1-0 over Mark Havers

171 Mike Evans 8-0, 6-0 over PJ Tasser

189 Ed Ruth 6-0, 6-1 over Andrei Petroski

215 Nate Gaffney 0-6, 1-1, 6-5 over Spencer Myers

285 Evan Craig 3-0, 6-4 over Tyler DeMott

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