The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 2, 2014

UPJ puts seven in regional semis

The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — Seven Pitt-Johnstown wrestlers earned semifinal berths and three more are still alive after the first day of the NCAA Division II Super Region I Tournament in the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.

Pitt-Johnstown stands in third-place behind Mercyhurst and Notre Dame College after Day 1.

Mercyhurst leads the 12-team field with 30.5 points.  Notre Dame is second (30), while Pitt-Johnstown (28.5), Kutztown (20), and Gannon (19.5) round out the top five.

“There are great teams up here and we had a great first day,” Pat Pecora said. “I’m very proud of the guys.” 

At 125, second-seeded Dave Fogle received a bye in the first round, before working a 15-0 technical fall over Millersville's Austin Camacci.

Fourth-seeded Luke Palamides scored a 10-3 win over Andrew Schutz (Seton Hill) in their quarterfinals at 133.

The Mountain Cats also have semifinalists at 141 and 149.  Fourth-seeded Sam Hanau won a 10-1 major decision over David Charles (Millersville) while fourth-seeded Cole Landowski picked-up two decision wins to advance to the quarterfinals.

At 165, second-seeded Gary Lantz won by decision in the opening round, before pinning Mercyhurst's Clint Schaefer at 3:35 in the quarterfinals.

In addition, top-seeded Travis McKillop (184) took a 16-1 technical fall at 3:00 over Wheeling Jesuit’s Ryan Winslow while Zac Bennett (197) rounded out the Pitt-Johnstown semifinalists. Bennett received a bye to open the tournament, then pinned Millersville's Aram Moffitt at 1:15 in the quarters.

Three other Pitt-Johnstown wrestlers suffered early losses, but stayed alive through the consolation bracket.

 Heath Coles suffered a loss in the quarterfinals at 157, but rebounded with a fall over Zachary Ziobro (American International).

At 174, Nikos Garafola defeated American International's Michael Schulze, 6-0 in a second-round consolation. Josh Duplin shut out Millersville's Eliajah Flasher, 6-0, to advance to today's action in the 285-pound bracket.

“We have some tough matches coming up, but we’re ready,” Pecora said. “We plan on taking things one match at a time and we can’t wait for that competition.”