Wrestlers take second spot in Regional

Nick Roth, Staff Writer

The Mountain Cat grapplers finished second out of 14 teams this weekend in the Super Region I Tournament at Kutztown University.

The top four finishers in each weight class qualify to wrestle in the national tournament.

Sophomore Travis McKillop led the team by winning the championship at 184 pounds.

“It feels pretty good,” said McKillop. “My hard work has been paying off all year, but I’m not finished.

“I want to be a national champion. It’s going to be hard, but I feel I have earned the right to become one.”

Along with McKillop, six other Pitt-Johnstown wrestlers earned a spot to the national tournament, where the Mountain Cats will be represented in seven of 10 weight classes.

Evan Link and Dave Cawley, both lost in the title match, finishing second in the region, punching their ticket to nationals.

Dave Fogle, Gary Lantz and Josh Duplin reached the semifinals, finishing fourth to claim their spots.

Senior Keith Ryan pinned his opponent in his true-fourth match, to round out the seven grapplers who qualified for nationals.

Lantz said one of the better moments this weekend was watching senior Ryan win his important true-fourth match to make it to nationals.

“I’m excited to see him take on some the nations best athletes because he’s a strong competitor with some big moves,” Lantz said.

McKillop and Fogle are returning All-Americans looking to add another All-American honor to their name.

This year they have five potential first time All-Americans in Link, Cawley, Ryan, Duplin and Lantz.

“Were going to wrestle at the top of our game, earning some big wins to bring Pitt-Johnstown back to the top of the national stage.” Lantz said.

The National Tournament will take place March 8 and 9 in Birmingham, Alabama.