HERSHEY — The experts called it and the trio of District 9 Class AA wrestlers answered the bell.
Brookville’s Brock Zacherl, Coudersport’s Cody Bova and Kane’s Evan Delong won state titles at Saturday’s PIAA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center, headlining a weekend where 11 of the 14 district wrestlers who made the trip captured top-eight medals.
The senior trio won at 138, 160 and 170 pounds respectively, ending a district title drought that went back to the last Class AA state champion in 2009 when Coudersport’s Dirk Cowburn won his second title. All three were the top-ranked wrestlers at their weight going into the week.
Zacherl cruised to his title at 138, decisioning Southern Columbia’s Kent Lane, 8-1, to earn his third state medal and first title. He finished the year at 41-2.
Bova, with the exception of an overtime win in the quarterfinals, was dominant in his other bouts including a 9-3 win over South Fayette’s Jared Walker in the finals. Bova’s season ended at a perfect 36-0.
Delong, who also finished 36-0, was strong in his championship final, majoring Richland’s Nico Pecora, 12-3, complete the district’s medal run that was the most since 11 D9ers did the same back in 2007.
Brookville wound up setting a district record for most state medals in one season with five and that total allowed the Raiders to finish second behind front-runner Bethlehem Catholic in the team standings. The Raiders scored 77.5 points, well behind Bethlehem Catholic’s 138.5 points and ahead of third-place Boiling Springs. Eighty-eight schools sent wrestlers to the tournament.
Also medaling for the Raiders were a pair of third-placers in sophomore Taylor Ortz at 113 and Zach Vroman at 145. Ortz decked Reynolds’ Seth Hogue to win his consolation bout while Vroman beat Huntingdon’s Jacob Oliver to win his third-place match.
Brock’s twin brother Brodie finished fifth at 152 by blanking Calvary Christian’s Richie Cerebe, 6-0. At 160, junior Jimmy Miller fell to Oswayo Valley senior Sam Colebert in the seventh-place bout, 6-4, to finish eighth.
Kane was seventh with 41.5 points, adding a third-place finish from Cody Blankenship at 126. Blankenship edged Central Columbia’s Lewis Williams, 3-1, in overtime in the consolation finals.
A pair of lightweights also picked up medals. At 106, Brockway’s Ryan Carlson finished eighth after losing 4-1 to Tri Valley’s Sammy Hepler. Redbank Valley senior Willie Gruver captured his second state medal with an eight-place finish at 120. He fell 4-2 to Blake Bordner of Tri Valley in the seventh-place bout.
D9 Championship Finals Results
138: Brock Zacherl, Brookville, dec. Kent Lane, Southern Columbia, 8-1.
160: Kyle Bova, Coudersport, dec. Jared Walker, South Fayette, 9-3.
170: Evan Delong, Kane, maj. dec. Nico Pecora, Richland, 12-3.
D9 Place Bouts
Third Place-Fourth Place
113: Taylor Ortz, Brookville, pinned Seth Hogue, Reynolds, 2:53.
126: Cody Blankenship, Kane, dec. Lewis Williams, Central Columbia, 3-1, OT.
145: Zach Vroman, Brookville, dec. Jacob Oliver, Huntingdon, 8-4.
Fifth Place-Sixth Place
152: Brodie Zacherl, Brookville, dec. Richie Cerebe, Calvary Christian, 6-0.
Seventh Place-Eighth Place
106: Sammy Hepler, Tri Valley, dec. Ryan Carlson, Brockway, 4-1.
120: Blake Bordner, Tri Valley dec. Willie Gruver, Redbank Valley, 4-2.
160: Sam Colebert, Oswayo Valley, dec. Jimmy Miller, Brookville, 6-4.