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Drew Peck collects Dist. 3 wrestling title for Chambersburg

Second place simply wasn't going to be good enough this time.

Chambersburg senior Drew Peck, a runner-up at the District 3 Class 3A wrestling tournament in each of the last two years, did not want to go through that experience again.

Peck followed a simple formula - get the lead and then never let his opponent breathe - and earned a 4-1 victory over Ben Maack of Governor Mifflin in the 182-pound final Saturday afternoon at Giant Center.

"Being on top of the podium, especially at Giant Center, I was getting a little emotional," Peck said. "I'd like to see that same view again in two weeks (at the state tournament)."

Peck was one of four Franklin County wrestlers who competed in the finals, but he was the only one who managed to grab a gold medal.

Trojan teammate Luke Nichter fell 4-3 to Jonah Barley of Penn Manor at 160, while both of Shippensburg's finalists, Chandler Olson at 126 and Cameron Tinner at 285, met their match against unbeaten opponents. Olson lost 22-10 to whirlwind Austin DeSanto of Exeter Township and Tinner was defeated 14-5 by Michael Wolfgram of Central York.

Other placewinners included Chambersburg's Drake Brenize (152) and Shippensburg's Cole Forrester (195) in fourth, the Trojans' Cole Grove (132) in fifth and Waynesboro's Matt McCann (120) and Seth Egolf (195) in sixth.

It took Peck fewer than 10 seconds to snatch a single leg for a takedown against Maack. Before the bout was 30 seconds old, Peck had another takedown and a 4-1 lead. And that was pretty much all of the drama. Peck wrapped up Maack like a boa constrictor for the next five-plus minutes and never was close to relinquishing control.

"My only plan was to score points and dominate," Peck said. "I got a quick takedown, let him up and got another, and with a 4-1 lead I felt I could dominate from top."

He even chose top in the third period.

Peck said, "I knew he was good with cradles on top, and I felt safe on top. If it wasn't a district final, I might have gone down to get some work on it."

Trojan coach Matt Mentzer said, "I thought Drew would take neutral, but I always let them decide what they most comfortable with."

Nichter's opponent, Barley, kept a low profile on his feet, at times even going to his knees, and Nichter had trouble getting into the setups he likes.

"I was leading with my right against his left, and he avoided that," Nichter said. "I should have tried from the other side; I need something else to try."

Mentzer said, "The kid didn't want to tie up, and Luke's better inside. We'll have to work on that."

After a scoreless first, Barley escaped in the second, then completed a single-leg shot for a 3-0 lead. Nichter escaped to open the third, then was called for an illegal figure four, giving Barley a 4-1 lead. That proved huge, because Nichter scored a takedown with 0:11 left that could have tied it up.

"I thought I had his arm in there, so I didn't think it was illegal," Nichter said, "but I guess I didn't."

Olson had lost to DeSanto in the first week of the season in a fairly tight match. Saturday, DeSanto racked up an incredible 10 takedowns in the 22-10 major decision. That gave DeSanto (48-0) 30 takedowns in four bouts at districts.

DeSanto scored on a variety of slick moves, including hitting one of Olson's signature moves, a dump, for a takedown and back points early in the second period that made it 10-2 and pretty much sealed the deal.

Tinner had a similarly frustrating experience on his feet against Wolfgram, who is a good-sized heavyweight that is still quick. Tinner did most of the shooting from neutral, but Wolfgram was able to stop his shots, prevent Tinner from keeping his angle, and spin around behind. He scored six takedowns in the 14-5 major.

"He's tough," admitted Tinner. "I was able to get in on his leg, but couldn't finish, and he was getting takedowns on my shots. That fixable. But he has great hips and he did a good job of keeping his weight on me."

Wolfgram countered two shots in the first period for a 4-1 lead, then increased it to 10-3 after two with a reversal and two more takedowns.

NOTES: Chambersburg placed sixth in the team standings, Shippensburg was ninth and Waynesboro 22nd ... Cedar Cliff won the title, followed by Exeter Township, Cumberland Valley and a tie for fourth for Big Spring and Central Dauphin ... The PIAA Championships are March 9-11 back at Giant Center.