HERSHEY >> Heading into the postseason, Central York junior Xavier Musti was just ready for the season to end. Two weeks later, he finds himself one victory away from heading to the PIAA tournament after a pair of tight victories at 132 pounds in the District 3 Class AAA tournament.
"To be honest, I was kind of getting tired of the whole wrestling season," Musti said after his quarterfinal victory. "So once I got first at sectionals, I wanted to come here and get first at districts. I told myself I have to win this one, get to the semis and I'm done for the day."
Wanting to keep his time on the mat to a minimum on Friday, Musti did what he set out to do and pinned Susquehanna Township's Mabrur Musrial in 1:50 to set up a meeting with Governor Mifflin's Colin Johnson in the quarterfinals.
Johnson and Musti faced each other earlier this season for fifth place at the Penn Manor tournament where Musti won in overtime after tying the match with less than 10 seconds to go on an escape. Something that perhaps led to Johnson's decision to cut Musti to start the third with a 1-0 lead.
Musti was able to work a takedown with about 20 seconds to go to take a 3-1 lead and held on for the win and a berth in today's semifinal against Chambersburg's Garrett Kyner. Action begins at 8:30 a.m.
Musti will be joined in the semifinals by teammate Dylan Chatterton, who advanced to the 138-pound semifinals with a 5-1 victory over James Buchanan's Kyle Lee in the first round and a 2-1 win over Lower Dauphin's Lee Cassel in the quarterfinals.
"Dylan is an amazing practice partner to have," Musti said. "It helped me drillin' with Dylan, he just keeps going and going and a couple times you just want to throw up, but you keep pushing because he's such an A-list wrestler."
It was a good day for training partners as three different wrestling room partners advanced to today's semifinals.
On top of Chatterton and Musti, South Western's dynamic duo of Derek Wilson (120 pounds) and Owen Wherley (126) advanced. You also have West York's 152/160 duo of Garrett Stauffer and Ryan Narber in the semifinals.
For the Mustangs duo, Wilson advanced by a combined score of 23-2 in victories over Chambersburg's Matt Strunk and Wilson's Tyler Wilkes. He will meet Exeter's Brett Kulp in the semifinals.
Wherley, meanwhile, advanced with a fall in 2:43 against Waynesboro's Ryan Neff. The win marked career victory No. 100 for Wherley. He added a 10-0 major against Twin Valley's Aaron Wildonger. Wherley will meet Cedar Cliff's Gabe Ikeda in his semifinal.
"It means a lot," Wherley said. "All the hard work I've put in all these years has finally paid off."
"I'm excited, I was (in the semifinals) last year," Wherley said. "I just want to win it this time and get to the finals."
West York's Narber, wrestling as the No. 3 seed out of Section V, had a tough draw as he met Section IV champion Keaton Eidle in the first round. That didn't matter to Narber, as he picked up a 12-8 decision before taking down Harrisburg's Christian Gayle, 8-4, in the quarters. He will meet top seed Jonah Barley of Penn Manor in a semifinal.
Stauffer had a difficult path to carve as well, meeting Garden Spot's Dan Swarr in the opening round. Stauffer picked up a fall in 5:04 to advance to meet Red Land's Dylan Gettys, who was quickly dispatched with a fall in 1:34.
Those six will also be joined in the semifinals by a trio of Rockets. Spring Grove's Dalton Rohrbaugh (106), Levi Witmer (132) and Marcus Kehr (160) each won their first two bouts. New Oxford's Zurich Storm also qualified for the semifinals with a fall and a 14-0 victory.
South Western 220-pounder Seth Janney and Red Lion 285-pounder Jared Schell also reached the semifinals. Janney did it with a pair of falls, spending just over three minutes on the mats. Schell picked up 5-1 and 3-0 decisions.
There are 25 YAIAA wrestlers still in the tournament, with 12 in the semifinals and 13 in the consolation brackets.
Contact Andrew Mease at 771-2022