Dist. 3 mat notebook: Back-to-back tough losses
For an agonizing spell of about 10-15 minutes early Saturday afternoon at Hersheypark Arena, the Runshaw family of Chambersburg had to feel like the wrestling gods were against them.
Freshman brothers Seth and Spencer Runshaw were both wrestling for fifth place in the District 3 Class AAA Tournament, a spot that would advance them to the PIAA Championships.
Both had their dreams crushed in cruel fashion.
At 106 pounds, Seth Runshaw held a 4-1 lead after one period over Brandon Connor of Wilson. In retrospect, the second period - in which Connor rode for two minutes - may have been the most costly time period. In the third, Connor escaped, then tied the match with a takedown with 29 seconds left.
In overtime, Connor took a shot and Runshaw countered by going over the top to grab Conner's feet. Connor, now on his knees, tried to twist through Runshaw's legs and in trying to prevent that, Runshaw was called for an illegal scissors. That one point gave Connor a sudden victory 5-4 decision.
Just a few minutes later on the same mat, Spencer Runshaw was cruising over Cedar Cliff's Michael Cassidy. He led 5-0 after two periods and was on top for the third.
With less than 40 seconds left, Cassidy started to wriggle free for what appeared to be a harmless reversal. Unfortunately for Runshaw, his head got caught underneath, he rolled toward his own back and Cassidy was able to stop him right there to record a defensive pin with 21 seconds left.
Trojan coach Matt Mentzer said, "You have to hope they learn from those matches and use them as motivation. But Spencer's was just really fluky."
MILESTONES: In the same session - Saturday morning's semifinals - two area stars produced the 100th victory of their career. Chandler Olson of Shippensburg secured his with a 14-4 major over Aaron Wildonger of Twin Valley, and Drew Peck of Chambersburg achieved his with an 11-4 decision over Evan Morrill of Lower Dauphin.
Both managed the feat in their junior season. Olson is now 100-13 and Peck is 100-26.
ROUGH ROAD: As soon as Chambersburg junior Aaron Rump saw the bracket for districts, he knew he had his work cut out for him.
And he was right. His first match was against Exeter Twp's James Harkness, a tough senior, and the winner would face Tyshawn White of Central Dauphin, ranked No. 1 in the state. Rump was unable to score against Harkness and lost 1-0.
Then he started picking himself through the consolation bracket, starting out with wins of 6-0 and 8-3. Then came a 5-2 win in the second tiebreaker period when he caught Cedar Cliff's Gabe Ikeda on his back. That was followed by a 1-0 verdict over Kennard-Dale's Michael Bracey.
But in the match for third place, Rump suffered a dislocated shoulder and had to forfeit. It was popped right back in and he should be fine for states.
"When I saw my draw, I knew I was going to have to grind it out," Rump said. "That's where going to all those big tournaments helps, because you know what it feels like to have to wrestle back for a place."
After taking fifth twice in the district, Rump earned his first berth in the PIAA Tournament. And, for a little more incentive, Rump is going to Giant Center with a career record of 99-23.
TOUGH CUSTOMERS: Garrett Kyner knew he had won a strong weight class when captured first place in the Section I Tournament. That was proven at districts.
South Western's Owen Wherley took the gold medal, but the next four places were taken by Section I wrestlers.
The only problem for Kyner was that the places from sections were all jumbled up. Micah Hoffman of Northern York was the runner-up at districts (he was 4th in sections), Will Kaldes of Cumberland Valley was third (2nd), Brayden Wills of Mechanicsburg was fourth (3rd) and Kyner took fifth (1st).
"I told those guys we'll see you all again in two weeks (at states)," Kyner said.