Franklin Regional wrestlers win 4 county titles; Panthers win tag team championship

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Saturday February 6, 2021 | 6:07 p.m.


In an event that featured several high-profile clashes, Franklin Regional stole the show in Saturday’s final at the Westmoreland County Wrestling Tournament.

The effort helped the Panthers win the title for the first time since 2015. It was their fourth and ended Kiski Area’s five-year reign. The Panthers finished with 189.5 points. Mt. Pleasant was second with 163 points, followed by Kiski Area 154.5, Hempfield 151.5 and Burrell 149.

Franklin Regional had four champions: Carter Dibert (126 pounds), Finn Solomon (138), Mario Sarnic (145) and Garrett Thompson (152).

Dibert won his third county title using a quick pullout to defeat Hempfield senior Ethan Berginc 3-2 in a battle of the PIAA champions. Dibert won in 2019 and Berginc in ’20.

“I’m sure we’ll meet again,” Dibert said. “I expect that: WPIAL, Super Regional and PIAA. I knew if I finished my one-way ticket that would be the key to the game. I kept pushing the pace and almost got another. He’s a tough wrestler and he goes strong all the time.

Dibert was one of three wrestlers to win a third title. The other two were Hempfield senior heavyweight Isaiah Vance and Kiski Area senior Brayden Roscosky (195).

Two more wrestlers could have won their third title, but Hempfield senior Ty Linsenbigler (152) lost to Thompson in overtime, and Burrell senior Ian Oswalt missed the match by relying on a leg injury.

“Winning a third title is awesome,” said Dibert. “It shows how difficult the county is. It’s really cool.”

The other big showdowns featuring eventual WPIAL and PIAA finalists were at 113, 132, 160, 215 and 285.

Latrobe sophomore Vinny Kilkeary, the returning PIAA Class 106 champion, beat Penn-Trafford junior Troy Hohman, 4-0, in a classic battle at 113. Kilkeary and Hohman are partners of Young Guns wrestling.

“I’m sure we will meet again,” Kilkeary said. “Troy is a tough wrestler, and it’s always good to face some tough competition. “

Kilkeary took advantage of a breakaway in the second period, then posted a near 3-point drop in the third period.

“I just didn’t finish my shots, and he capitalized on my mistake at the back and picked up the points,” Hohman said. “I will learn from this. “

Hempfield junior Briar Priest won a 2-0 first period victory over Latrobe sophomore Nate Roth at 132. Priest won an early game 6-5.

“Getting the first out in any game is key,” Priest said. “Nate is tough, and I’ll have to find a way to escape the next time we meet.” Beating him again helps me gain confidence.

Solomon used an out in the first period and edged Hempfield second student Lucas Kapusta, 3-1, at 138.

Sarnic, who was not ranked in the top four and had to struggle in Friday’s round, won the 145 title with an impressive 16-0 victory over Hempfield senior Nolan Daerr.

“Not wrestling last year and missing the start of the season ruined my ranking,” said Sarnic. “I was confident that I could win if I struggled well. Fighting Finn and Garrett in training made me a better wrestler.

Thompson made up for a 3-1 deficit to beat Linsenbigler in overtime and won the award for best wrestler.

“Watching Mario win got me pumped,” said Thompson. “I knew if I kept pushing I could win. Winning the OW shows me the hard work I do in training.

Vance won his third title edging Greensburg heavyweight Salem Billy McChesney 1-0.

“Billy and I have to discover new things when we fight,” said Vance. “Winning another county title is huge. “

Roscosky used a third period putout to beat Logan Hoffman of Belle Vernon, 3-1.

The other champions were first year Burrell Cooper Hornack (106) and senior AJ Corrado (160), junior from Mt. Pleasant Dayton Pitzer (215) and second year from Kiski Area Ryan Klingensmith (120) and senior Sammy Starr (172).

Hornack defeated Franklin Regional rookie Ty Kapusta 9-0; Klingensmith shut out Hempfield second student Ethan Lebin, 7-0; Corrado edged Kiski Area junior Enzo Morlacci, 3-1; Starr defeated Colin Gnibus junior of Mt. Pleasant, 4-0; and Pitzer crushed Cole Weightman junior of Belle Vernon, 6-4, in a battle of the best 215-pound wrestlers by classification in the WPIAL. Pitzer (22-2) is in class AA and Weightman (15-4) in class AAA.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .



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