Throckmorton, Conaway prep for stretch run
By now, this sort of thing has become routine for Cameron Throckmorton and Jordan Conaway. Over the past few years, both have become locks to land on top of the medal stand at the District 3-AAA Section V wrestling tournament. Saturday was no different. The two local standouts both cruised to sectional titles at South Western High School. Throckmorton, South Western's 130-pound senior, breezed to a technical fall victory over Spring Grove's Mason Bentzel in the pair's championship bout. Conaway, a senior at New Oxford, rolled to his own technical fall win in the 112-pound final against Dover's Ross Drawbaugh. Now these two wrestlers are entering the home stretch, the final few weeks of their already-impressive careers. It's hard not to see the similarities between the two. Both are repeat sectional champs. Throckmorton has four titles, Conaway has three. Both have already won District 3-AAA titles. (Throckmorton has two.) Both have secured Division I scholarships. Throckmorton will head to North Carolina, while Conaway is destined for Liberty. Both even started their careers at the same weight. Throckmorton beat Conaway in the 103-pound sectional semifinals when both were freshman, and the two used to workout together in the offseason. Finally, both head into this postseason with only one real goal, the only thing missing from the grapplers' sterling resumes. A state title. "I need to win it this year," Throckmorton said Saturday. "That's what I've been working for." That's really all that's left. Both have come close. Throckmorton (31-0) finished fifth in the state last season. Conaway (30-3), one of last year's favorites at 103, lost in the quarterfinals and wrestled back to earn third place. "That, to me, was an upset," Conaway said of his defeat. "I know this is my last year. "Every time I think about states or about Hershey, I just get riled up. Sometimes I think about it in school. I don't know, I just get excited." Both will be favorites at the District 3-AAA championships next weekend. Depending on where you look, both should be in the mix at the state tournament. The wrestling website thepapowerrankings.com has Throckmorton and Conaway ranked third and second, respectively, in their weight classes. Another site, pennsylvaniawrestlingrankings.com, has them both second in their respective divisions. The point is, they should both be in the mix. And already, the anticipation is building. "Even like all of today, I was really nervous," Throckmorton said. "Like today, it's never going to happen again. Next week isn't going to happen next year. "Right now I'm going to take a day off and refocus and get ready for districts. Hopefully I can have a good showing there and get my third title. I just got to wrestle confidently." Both wrestlers looked dominant Saturday. Conoway looked especially strong at 112, after bumping up a weight class from last season. "Last year I had to manage my weight more than this year," Conaway said. "I still have to manage it some. It's not as bad as last year. There's no way I could make 103 again." Saturday's victory held special significance to Throckmorton -- it was his last time wrestling at The Corral. In South Western's final home dual meet of the season against Hempfield, Throckmorton had been forced to accept a forfeit. "It really got to me that I didn't get to wrestle," Throckmorton said. "It's nice to go out like this in this gym."