Canton's Wesneski will bring home state medal
HERSHEY - Garrett Wesneski assured himself a place on the wall at Canton as a state medalist Friday during the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.
The junior dominated Biglerville's Scott Thompson 14-6 in the second round of consolations at 182 pounds during the morning session.
Wesneski didn't fare as well in the evening session, falling to Valley's Terrell Fields 3-1 in the third round of consolations.
He will wrestle Reynolds' Jamar Henry in the 7th place consolation bout today.
The Warrior is excited to have earned some hardware.
"It's one of my goals since I was about five," Wesneski remarked. "I've been here every year watching this but it feels awesome to actually do it."
In his first match it was back and forth early on.
In the first period Thompson scored the first takedown but Wesneski came back with a reversal to tie it up. Wesneski was tagged for an illegal throw late in the period to give Thompson a 3-2 lead heading into the second.
Wesneski began the second on top and used it to his advantage, tilting Thompson for five back points to take a 7-3 lead.
"I felt a lot stronger than him," Wesneski explained.
Late in the period Thompson was able to score a reversal to cut it to 7-5 heading into the third.
In the third Wesneski scored his second reversal of the bout to go up 9-5. Thompson escaped to cut it to 9-6 and got in deep on the junior on a shot.
It looked like Wesneski was in trouble but the Warrior was able to whizzer hard to keep Thompson from scoring.
"I was like 'there is no way he's getting this,'" he remarked. "We practice it a lot in practice."
Wesneski credits his teammates Connor Route and Tyler Cole for helping him in the mat room.
"We always do scrambles," he explained. "It's awesome."
Wesneski went on the offensive after that, scoring a take down and near fall to end up with a decisive 14-6 win.
"He was trying to toss me," explained Wesneski. "I just put him right to his back and he gave up."
In the third round consolation bout he had a harder time getting his offense going.
"He didn't really try much offense," Wesneski said about Fields. "He just had a really good base and good grip. I had trouble getting my wrists free. You've got to get takedowns to win and I didn't."
Fields scored a takedown in the first period to go up 2-0. In the second Wesneski started on top and tried to cradle up Fields but lost his grip. Fields was able to escape to go up 3-0.
In the final period Wesneski started on bottom and began to wear Fields down. He was able to get an escape with a few seconds left but was beat the buzzer when he tried to get the takedown.
"He was gassing," Wesneski explained. "I hit him with a lateral drop when the buzzer went off. He was on his back but it was too late."
Despite the setback the junior believes be belongs at states.
"I think I can wrestle with anyone," Wesneski remarked. "But I've got to score points. I can't score one point to win matches."
While he's pleased to be in the medal round but hopes this is a spring board towards a higher spot on the podium next season.
"I need to get a lot better on certain things," Wesneski explained. "Being at the bottom, 7th and 8th, makes me want to work harder in the off season. I want to get to the finals next year, maybe win it all but I've got to put in lots of work."