When the PIAA District Three wrestling tournament gets underway Friday at historic Hersheypark Arena, Lebanon county will be represented by five wrestlers in the 'AAA' field; three from Palmyra and two from Cedar Crest.

In the 'AAA' field, Palmyra's Ben Martin (28-4) enters next weekend's tournament as a number one seed after pinning his way through the 220-pound bracket at his sectional at CD East with falls in 1:01 and 4:58 in the first two rounds. Then, in the final, he pinned Lower Dauphin's David Wuestner, who beat Martin earlier this year 10-3, with a fall in 3:33.

The three falls pushes his Lebanon county career record to 89 to go along with 111 career wins.

Getting to Hershey isn't the only goal for Martin. He came one point short of qualifying for the state tournament last year, placing fourth at 220 pounds, losing 1-0 to Exeter's Joe Giorgio in a controversial match.

Martin did reach the semifinal round with two pinball victories before losing 9-3 to Mechanicsburg Briton Bra, but won his consolation bout against Conestoga Valley's Brad Erb with a fall to set-up the fourth place finish.

This year, however, a fourth place finish would qualify Martin for the state tournament as District Three gained a fourth state representative this season. But Martin will certainly be aiming for more than fourth.

Going back to Hershey for Palmyra as well is 106-pound junior Evan Bogdan (28-6) as a three seed looking to improve on his showing last year.


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Last year Bogdan opened with a tough 3-0 loss to Dallastown's Nick Shields then took out Red Land's Leo degasses in the first consolation round before bowing out to Spring Grove's Zack Clingan.

Also joining Bogdan and Martin is first-year senior wrestler Jamison Barker (15-12). Barker also placed third and did it the hard way, losing his first match before ripping off three straight in the consolation bracket at 285 to punch his ticket.

Cedar Crest will send two first-time qualifiers into the AAA field after third-place finishes from juniors Bobby Beard (17-9) and Adam Gilson (31-6) at 160 and 182-pounds, respectively. The duo each placed third in their sectional at Governor Mifflin.

Results from the AA Section Two event featuring wrestlers from Annville-Cleona, Elco and Northern Lebanon were not available at press time.