The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 9, 2014

PIAA wrestling notebook: Murin not pleased with fifth place

HERSHEY — Max Murin won the first 36 matches of his varsity career.

But the Central Cambria freshman was disappointed after he dropped two consecutive bouts on Friday night at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.

He rebounded to pin Chestnut Ridge’s Aaron Burkett in the fifth-place match at 106 pounds on Saturday afternoon, but that was not what he was seeking in Hershey.

“At the end of the day, I wasn’t where I wanted to be,” Murin said. “I thought I had a good season. I wish I would have had a better state tournament.”

Murin, who won District 6 and Southwest Regional titles, plans to use his two losses as motivation.

“I hope me not being where I want to be at the end of the day drives me to do better next season,” he said.

And he doesn’t plan on taking any time to recuperate from the long season, as he is looking to attend a club practice today.

“I think I’m going to Young Guns (today),” he said.

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Movin’ on up: Forest Hills’ Triston Law beat Benton’s Mike Stuart 10-0 for fifth place at 120 pounds.

That’s one spot higher than Law finished at 106 last season, but he sees that as progress.

“Bumping up two weight classes is much harder than it was at 106,” the junior said.

Law is looking to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Cody, who won a state championship last season and is now wrestling at Penn State.

“It was a good year,” said Triston Law, who also celebrated his 17th birthday on Saturday.

“I had 34 wins, but I wanted to go undefeated. Cody, his junior year, he got second here and I got fifth. I’m going to win next year, for sure.”

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Making history: It’s not easy to break into the history books at Bedford, which has a long and storied wrestling tradition, but Ryan Easter did it on Saturday.

The 132-pounder became the first Bison to win a fourth PIAA medal when he beat Pen Argyl’s Andrew Sutton 3-1 in overtime for seventh place.

“It feels awesome,” Easter said.

Easter, who placed fifth in 2011 and sixth in 2012, did admit that wrestling for seventh was a bit of a letdown after being in the finals last season.

“It was really hard, honestly,” he said. “But you just have to let that go and I focused on my match.”

Garrett Thomas, Easter’s longtime practice partner, finished eighth after a 6-5 loss to Bethlehem Catholic’s Mike Labriola.

“Me and Garrett have been wrestling since we were 6 or 7 years old,” said Easter, who plans to wrestle for Division I Bloomsburg. “He was my drill partner forever. It’s going to be weird not having him.”

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