HERSHEY - The medals aren't gold, but they represent progress for Franklin County wrestlers Drew Peck and Chandler Olson.
Peck, a junior from Chambersburg, and Olson, a junior for Shippensburg, wrestled Saturday night for third-place medals at the PIAA Class AAA Championships at Giant Center and both came up a bit short.
Olson has gone from an eighth as a freshman to a sixth last year to fourth this year. In his final bout, he was pinned in 1:19 by Altoona's Cole Manley, who was a state runner-up last year.
Peck grabbed his first career medal. He was edged 3-2 in the consolation final by Kyle Gentile of Pennridge.
Trojan senior Garrett Kyner also received a medal, for seventh place, with a 7-4 victory over Carter Starocci of Cathedral Prep.
Peck was the only area semifinalist, but he simply could not get any offense going against eventual champion Jake Woodley of North Allegheny in a 3-0 defeat. Woodley worked hard to earn a first-period takedown and escaped in the second. He then rode Peck the entire third period and never came close to letting Peck out.
Peck came back in the consolation semis to face Boyertown's Gregg Harvey, who had beaten Peck twice already this year, at the Beast of the East and Escape the Rock tournaments. This one ended differently.
The first three periods had a lot of action and very few shots and ended 1-1. But in overtime, Peck finally got in on a leg and made his shot count for the winning takedown.
"I was getting an underhook and he was always putting his head to that side," Peck said. "This time before he could, I dropped down and got his leg, and then came up with it. It's a little risky because you could get pancaked with that. I've done it in practice but that's the first time I did it in a match."
Trojan coach Matt Mentzer said, "That kid is big and physical. All he was doing was a lot of head snaps, but it kept Drew off-balance. On that last shot, Drew committed his hips and did a nice job getting the takedown at the edge of the mat."
Peck, who finished 38-7, was tied with Gentile 2-2 after a takedown with 12 seconds left in the second, but Gentile escaped at 0:03, then rode Peck all the way in the third.
Olson got his offense going in his two wins. Against Ethan McCoy of Latrobe, McCoy got in on Olson's leg, but Olson pulled off a slick jones to score the takedown and add two nearfall points. He gave up a pair of third-period takedowns, but still won 8-6.
In his next battle, he faced Chris Eddins of Greensburg Salem and Eddings went ahead 3-0 in the second when he put Olson in a cradle. But before the period ended, Olson reversed to make it 3-2.
Trailing 4-2 in the third, Olson caught Eddins in a dump and managed to score back points, too, and rode that out for well over a minute to post a 7-4 win.
Olson said, "I felt the dump was there, but I was just looking for two points. But I kept his arm and caught him on his back and I heard the coaches telling me to just keep him there. When he got that cradle, I knew I needed to score some points, so I pressed harder."
The Hound ace (38-4) ran into quick trouble against Manley in the bout for third place and was pinned 12 seconds into the second period.
"I keep climbing up the podium," Olson said.
Kyner lost a heartbreaker in his fourth-round consolation bout. He scored an escape and a takedown in the second period to take a 3-0 lead over Jake Hinkson of North Allegheny. But Hinkson escaped in the second and third periods and when Kyner was called for stalling with 0:09 left, it tied the bout.
Hinkson then notched a takedown in overtime for a 5-3 win.
"I just didn't they should have called that stalling," Mentzer said. "He was presenting himself and holding his ground."
Kyner (37-9) had a real battle with Starocci for seventh place. He led 2-0 after one and an escape late in the second made it 3-3 after two. But a penalty point gave Starocci a 4-3 lead with time winding down. But Kyner closed out his career with a bang, reversing Starocci with nine seconds left and adding a nearfall.
PIAA Wrestling Championships
182: Jake Woodley (North Allegheny) d Drew Peck (Chambersburg), 3-0.
126: Chandler Olson (Shippensburg) d Ethan McCoy (Latrobe), 8-6. 138: Jake Hinkson (North Allegheny) d Garrett Kyner (Chambersburg), 5-3 SV.
126: Chandler Olson (Shippensburg) d Chris Eddins (Greensburg Salem), 7-4. 182: Drew Peck (Chambersburg) d Gregg Harvey (Boyertown), 3-1 SV.