Thayne Lawrence became a four-time section champion on Friday night at Canon-McMillan High School in the WPIAL Class AA Individual Section Championships.
Lawrence, a senior who is headed to Lehigh University, is seeking his third straight state title. He finished third in the PIAA Individual Championships as a freshman.
Lawrence, who will attempt to become the 29th four-time WPIAL Champion today, earned a 15-0 technical fall over Burrell’s Noah Linderman in the Section 3-AA final at 160 pounds. Lawrence won by technical fall in the semifinals and pinned his opponent in the quarterfinals in 19 seconds.
Elizabeth Forward’s Ryan Michaels pinned all three of his opponents in winning his third section title in the 120-pound weight class in Section 3-AA. Michaels, who will wrestle for Campbell University, was third in the state last season and qualified as a sophomore. He didn’t compete on the varsity team as a freshman.
Teammate Noah Hunnell won his second section gold with a 4-0 decision over Burrell’s Simon Slahtovsky at 145. Hunnell pinned his opponents in the semifinals and quarterfinals.
Mount Pleasant’s Luke Geibig earned his second section championship with a 5-2 decision over the Buccaneers’ Shawn Szymanksi in the Section 3-AA final at 113. Geibig, who qualified for states last year as a freshman, earned a technical fall in the semifinals and won by fall in the quarters.
Beth-Center’s Todd Fisher earned his second section championship with an 11-4 decision over Bentworth’s Noah Weston in the Section 1-AA final at 138. Fisher won by major decision, 17-4, in the semifinals. He had a bye in the round of eight.
Teammate Kyle McCollum won his first section title after he edged Burgettstown’s Joey Sentipal, 3-2, in the finals at 120 in Section 1-AA. McCollum had another close decision in the semis, as he won a 10-8 decision over Chartiers-Houston’s Jessie Orbin. McCollum received a bye in the quarters.
The Warriors’ Ethan Cain (195) and Nick Murphy (285) won their first section titles. Cain pitched a 6-0 shutout over Southmoreland’s Bret Huffman in the finals, and Murphy pinned Highlands’ Jeremiah Nelson in 59 seconds. Cain and Murphy won their semifinals bouts by falls. Both received byes in the quarterfinals.
Yough’s Shane Momyer pinned all three of his opponents en route to the Section 3-AA Championship at 106. Momyer, a junior, qualified for the WPIAL Championships for the first time. Teammate Glenn Christner is also headed to his first WPIAL Finals, as he won gold at 170 with a 9-7 decision over Burrell’s Cole Clark. Christner pinned his opponents in the semifinals and round of eight. He received a bye in the first round.
The Vikings’ Noah Gnibus won his first section title with a 5-1 decision over the Scotties’ Nick Yeskey at 138 in Section 3-AA. Gnibus pinned his semifinal opponent and won by decision (6-0) in the quarterfinals.
Also qualifying for the District 7 Championships for the Bulldogs were: Davis Stepp (2nd at 106), Tyler Berish (2nd at 132), Trevor Pettit (2nd at 145), Tyler Fisher (3rd at 126), Alston Csuteros (4th at 170) and Ryan Lynch (4th at 182).
Elizabeth Forward’s Dylan Bruce (3rd at 126), Austin Wilson (4th at 106) and Dovantay Brownfield (4th at 182) are moving on to the WPIAL Championships.
Mount Pleasant’s Damian George finished in second place at 126. Teammates Kyle Jones (3rd at 152) and Patrick Brewer (4th at 160) will wrestle for a spot in the regional tournament today.
The Commodores’ Jacob Thomas (113) and Matthew Kordich (220) will join Lawrence in the WPIAL Championships after finishing third in the section tournament.
The Scotties didn’t crown a champion, but had six other WPIAL qualifiers past Huffman and Yeskey in Austin McBeth (2nd at 152), Anthony Govern (2nd at 182), Tristan Ice (4th at 113), Andrew Johnson (4th at 132), Bryson Robinson (4th at 145) and Brendan Moore (4th at 170).
West Greene’s Daniel Collins placed third in Section 1-AA at 106, and teammates Austin Orndoff (120), Parker Smith (126) and Noah Bloom (152) took fourth.
Jefferson-Morgan’s Jonathan Wolfe (3rd at 220) and Hudson Guesman (4th at 113) advanced to the WPIAL Championships by finishing in the top four in their section tournament.
The Bearcats’ Owen Petrisek qualified for the WPIALs at 170 after finishing third in the section championships.
One notable wrestler absent was the Vikings' Dayton Pitzer, who had to sit out this season due to injury. Pitzer won a section, WPIAL, regional and state championship last year as a freshman.
The top seven place winners in the WPIAL Class AA Championships advance to Southwestern Regional Tournament next Friday and Saturday at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Kovalchick Complex inside the Ed Fry Arena. The top six at the regional tournament advance to the state tournament on March 5-7 at the Giant Center in Hershey.