HERSHEY >> Reactions to winning a state championship come in all forms.
For Ian Brown and Tristan Sponseller, it was the lack of reaction that was the only surprising thing about their performances at the PIAA wrestling championships.
"I almost had more of a feeling of relief after it was over because I knew I could do it," said Sponseller, who spent the entire season ranked No. 1 in the state as did Brown.
Brown won the Class AA 132-pound championship with a 7-0 decision against Boiling Springs' Kyle Shoop.
Later in Saturday's afternoon session, Sponseller claimed the 195-pound crown with a 9-1 major decision vs. Corry Area's Ryan Morris.
Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller capped off his amazing 166-0 career with a 14-2 dismantling of Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Kyle Coniker to win the Class AAA 170-pound championship, his fourth state title. The Ram senior is the first undefeated, four-time PIAA champ since Carey Kolat from Jefferson Morgan in 1989-92.
Marsteller was voted outstanding wrestler by the media for the third year in a row.
For the fourth consecutive weekend in a championship round, Brown faced Shoop.
That can be a good and bad situation, according to Brown.
"I knew it can happen that (the other wrestler) starts to close the gap and then eventually (he's) right there with you," the senior said. "I knew going into (the final) if I put my match together (the title) was mine to take."
Brown (39-0) recorded a takedown in each period while never allowing Shoop any legitimate scoring opportunities.
He opened the scoring with a shrug at the midway point of the first period, controlling the Bubbler junior for the remainder of the period. The Nighthawk wrestler took down and promptly escaped to expand his lead to 3-0 and then hit a second takedown.
Wrestling the full six minutes, Brown closed out the scoring with a takedown with only seven seconds left in the bout, executing what new Hanover coach Kurt Brenner had instilled in his star.
"(Brenner) brought me to a different level of aggression and a different mentality," he said. "It used to be I use to make sure I got a 3-0 lead and then I knew I could win the match by wrestling conservatively. He tries to (emphasize) if you get a 3-0 lead, it's better to get a 5-0 lead."
Hanover's last state champ was Gary Mayfield in 2004.
While matching Brown's offensive output of a takedown per period, Sponseller's final victory was even more dominating as he racked up 5:30 of riding time.
The Eagle star needed just seven seconds to take down Morris at the start of the bout, something he felt took the anxiety out of the situation.
"Once I got that first score, I knew I could be in control," he said. "With that calm feeling, it was a lot nicer wrestling the rest of the match."
The Eagle senior tacked on a two-point nearfall to take a four-point lead into the second period.
Morris got his lone point on an escape five seconds into the second period, but Sponseller was right back on the attack, registering a second takedown 12 seconds later.
He closed out the scoring with his final takedown after only six seconds elapsed in the third period and a stalling penalty point against the Northwest regional champion.
After making the state final at 170 last season, Sponseller jumped up two weight classes, which put him closer to his natural weight of 200.
"Pretty much the whole summer and up through this wrestling season, I was lifting every other day," he said. "I kept increasing how much I lifted, and my weight kept going up.
"So I figured maybe it's best just to wrestle what I weigh and have my strength about me."
Marsteller became the 11th four-time champion by racking up three takedowns and eight back points. The Ram senior received a standing ovation from the Hershey crowd.
Class AAA results >> Dallastown's Rodney Sunday brought home the highest consolation medal for the YAIAA Class AAA teams, placing fifth at 126.
The Spring Grove duo of Mike Hartman (145) and Mason Bentzel (152) placed seventh, each winning one-point decisions in their final matches.
Hartman notched a takedown with 21 seconds left to defeat Nathan Cheek of Wyoming Valley West, 4-3, in the seventh-place match.
Bentzel earned an escape early in the final period against Greater Latrobe's Jake Shaffer and made it stand up as the difference in a 1-0 decision.
Small school medal haul >> Six Class AA wrestlers from the YAIAA brought home hardware from their three-day visit to Chocolatetown.
After reaching Friday evening's semifinal round, Bermudian Springs junior Briton Shelton finished fourth at 160. The Eagle dropped the consolation final to Milton's Ryan Preisch.
Fairfield's Nick Mort also finished fourth
A trio of league competitors were seventh place including Mort's Green Knight teammate Brett Harris at 285 pounds, Bermudian Springs' Colton Dull at 182 and Hanover's Tyler Shafer at 145.
Rounding out the medalists is Sam McCollum of Bermudian Springs, who ended up eighth at 220.