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Lebanon County wrestlers in hunt for gold

The first day of the District Three championships ended with nine Lebanon County wrestlers - eight from Northern Lebanon- alive in the championship bracket

HERSHEY – Twenty wrestlers from Northern Lebanon and Annville-Cleona started the day with a chance to fulfill their goal of winning a district championship. After the first day of the District 3 Class AA Championships on Friday at Hersheypark Arena, we’re down to 14 remaining – 11 total for the Vikings, and three for the Little Dutchmen.

Of the three A-C wrestlers left, only Josh Renninger remains in championship contention, at 138 pounds. Renninger, who already had a first round bye, pinned Hamburg’s Dylan Miller in 2:35 to advance into the semifinals for a third straight season.

“I didn’t really see any challenges,” Renninger said. “I just went out there and fought as hard as I could. I didn’t want to be on the mat very long and wanted to get it over with.”

It’s a position very familiar to Renninger, but the previous two times he’s been in this position, he’s come up short. He’ll look to change that Saturday as part of finishing his junior season on a high note.

“What I learned from last year was don’t take it easy and give it all you got,” Renninger said. “If I do that, I’ll actually make it to the finals this year.”

The other two wrestlers for the Little Dutchmen who will battle in the consolation bracket today are Hayden Funck at 113 and Mark Wagner at 170.

Funck pinned Tulpehocken’s David Bortz in the first round of consolations and will take on Camp Hill’s Jacob Coniglio in the quarterfinals. Because Wagner won his first round bout in the championship bracket, he earned a first round bye in the consolation bracket. Wagner will face Halifax’s Cade Wilbert in the quarterfinals. Wagner’s win in the first round in the championship bracket came against Michael Southerly of Biglerville, 9-3.

On a much more successful day for Northern Lebanon, Hunter Wallace is one of eight wrestlers still in championship contention, earning the biggest win of the day for the Vikings in a 15-0 technical fall over Hamburg’s Austin Strunk in the 195-pound bracket. Wallace also benefited from a first-round bye.

“I pinned that kid last week so I knew I could beat him again going into it,” Wallace said. “I knew I had to do it again to achieve my goals, so I went out and did it.”

Wallace now faces Newport’s Brady Herr in Saturday’s semifinals. Herr pinned Bermudian Springs’ Logan Luckenbaugh in the quarterfinals in 3:31.

“I’m going to definitely have a tougher match, but it's winnable and I definitely think I can win the district title,” Wallace said.

Other Vikings’ wrestlers who will look to keep their hopes of a district championship alive include Dustin Breidegan at 113, Trevor Leonard at 132, Luis Negreiros at 160, Quinn Blatt at 170, Luke Funck at 182, Matt Vines at 220 and George Thompson at 285.

Breidegan pinned Hamburg’s Owen Deturk in 1:08, while Leonard pinned Trinity’s Chase Drawbaugh in 2:00, off a first round bye. Negreiros, also off a first round bye, defeated Delone Catholic’s Zachary Hart, 8-3. Blatt earned a technical fall, 17-1, over Susquenita’s Kevin Kenny after earning a first-round bye. Funck was another Vikings’ wrestler with a bye, and then pinned Camp Hill’s Nate Teeter in just 0:19. Vines pinned Newport’s Walker Klinger in only 0:44 after a bye, while Thompson beat Brandywine’s Michael Hubble in a sudden victory, 4-2.

The other three Northern Lebanon wrestlers still alive in the consolation bracket include Kyler Anspach at 106, Steve Herb at 145, and Blaise Bressler at 152.

Anspach earned a technical fall, 18-6 over Biglerville’s Josh Tuckey and will face Kutztown’s Jake Shardin in the consolation quarterfinals. Herb earned the major decision over Carlos Altamirano of Schuykill Valley, 14-1, and will face Michael Capozzoli of Newport in the quarterfinals. Bressler defeated A-C’s Tyler Schrader 8-4 and will face Bermudian Springs’ Lucas Gladfelter in the quarterfinals.

CLASS AAA: Four Lebanon County wrestlers qualified for the District 3 Class AAA Championships and all took at least one win. After Friday's competition, two have been eliminated and two are still alive in the consolation rounds.

Leo Higgins of Palmyra lost his first-round bout, 9-0, but rallied for a pair of pins in the consolations, sticking Garrett Fittery of Manheim Central in 1:12 and Dante Jones of Penn Manor in 2:25. Higgins (18-3) will face Jesse Enck of Daniel Boone (33-3) in a consy quarterfinal.

Cedar Crest's Jarell Howard-Griffin was the only county entry to garner a victory in the first round - he dusted Jared Barley of Spring Grove on his feet for a 17-5 major decision. Howard-Griffin (22-3) was pinned in 2:50 by Chambersburg's Drew Peck in the quarterfinals, but came back with a 10-2 major over Matt Loiseau of Penn Manor. He meets Jake Schalles of Cumberland Valley.

At 152, the Falcons' Barry Breidegan was upset 3-1 by Tyler Davis of Reading on a takedown with 14 seconds left. He defeated Chambersburg's Colin Runshaw 8-2, but fell 9-2 to Tyler Bagoly of Exeter Twp. Breidegan finished 34-3.

Crest's 285-pounder Ross Fisher lost 7-2 in his opener, but came back to pin McGee Schnarrs of East Pennsboro in his first consy bout. But Fisher was knocked out when he was pinned in 1:23 by New Oxford's Brock Hartman. Fisher ended up 21-11.