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Warrior Run sits second at regionals despite scratches

Mar. 1—WILLIAMSPORT — Warrior Run wrestlers Tyler Ulrich and Isaiah Betz were supposed to compete in the PIAA Class 2A Northeast Regional instead of being spectators Friday.

However, Ulrich (139 pounds) and Betz (189) were forced to bow out earlier in the week for different reasons. Ulrich suffered an injury during last week's District 4 title match, while Betz opted out due to health issues. Ulrich is a sophomore who was seeking his second consecutive appearance in the state tournament. Betz, a junior, was eyeing his second berth in regionals.

In qualifying nine wrestlers to regionals, Warrior Run broke its school record set last year. With Ulrich and Betz sidelined, the total matched last season's number.

Despite missing those key contributors, the Defenders vaulted into second place in the team standings with 42.5 points after the first day of the regional Friday at Williamsport High School. They have five wrestlers who will compete in today's semifinal round while first-place Montoursville, which collected 61 points, has seven grapplers in the winner's bracket.

One of the Warrior Run semifinalists, Cameron Milheim, said that having the support of Ulrich and Betz was helpful for he and the rest of his teammates.

After earning a bye as a district champion, Milheim had to wrestle just one match Friday, and he posted a 24-9 technical fall over Williamson's Owen Cummings in the quarterfinals.

"They're out for obvious reasons — injuries and some health issues," Milheim said. "So we'd like to still have them here. They're cheering on and supporting us while we're out there wrestling, and doing what they can continue to support our team."

Max Wirnsberger (133), Reagan Milheim (145), Cole Shupp (172) and Connor Parker (215) are the Defenders' four other semifinalists. Wirnsberger will take on District 2 champion Jackson Maby (Blue Ridge) in the semifinals today. Maby is undefeated at 38-0.

Shupp and Parker also have tough semifinal draws. Shupp will take on top seed Caden Finck (Montgomery), who boasts a 42-5 record. Parker is set for a matchup with a reigning state champion in Muncy's Austin Johnson.

Two more Warrior Run wrestlers, Eli Butler (160) and Stone Allison (285), will look to bounce back after suffering losses in the quarterfinals.

"We're feeling good, motivated. We wanna get a lot of kids to states and go down there and perform," Cameron Milheim said. "But (today) comes first, and I think we're all capable of making it."

Mifflinburg sits sixth in the team standings after advancing three of its four wrestlers. Jack Gramly (107), Bradley Wagner (121) and Ben Straub (127) made it to the semifinals for the Wildcats. Wagner and Straub had to wrestle just once, while Gramly went 2-0 at 107.

Lane Kenamond is Mifflinburg's lone wrestler in the consolations after he fell to undefeated Brandt Harer (Montgomery) in a 17-second pin in the 133 quarterfinals.

Line Mountain is right below Mifflinburg in the team standings at seventh after it sent three of its wrestlers to the semifinals. Brock Rothermel (114), Nolan Baumert (139) and Dalton Schadel (152) are all seeking gold medals today. Schadel has a meeting with Cameron Milheim in the semis.

Southern Columbia was in 10th place after two of its regional participants, Mason Barvitskie (145) and Garrett Garcia (189), made it to the semifinal round. Garcia improved to 28-0 on the year with a first-period pin against Montgomery's Coy Bryson in the quarterfinals. Also for the Tigers, Rowen Humphrey (107) and Jude Bremigen (285) landed in the consolations.

Milton ended Friday's matches in 13th place after Alex Hoffman (172) got into the semifinals. Hoffman bested Valley View's Camryn Higgins in a 4-3 decision. He will take on District 2 champion Joey Giannetti (Honesdale) today.

Black Panthers' Ty Locke (121) and Cale Bastian (215) were both pinned by District 4 champions in the quarters. Locke fell to Sullivan County's Colton Wade, while Bastian dropped his match to Austin Johnson.

Even though he fell to the consolation bracket, Bastian was satisfied with his performance. Bastian pinned Kaylix Douglas (Lackawanna Trail) in 43 seconds to begin Friday's action. After competing in only one match during last week's early portion of the district tournament, Bastian had to take defaults in all of his matches the next day due to an illness. Bastian was in the hospital and received an IV before districts.

"It feels good to be back on the mat," he said. "Last week was rough for me ... I knew I had to win one match last week to move onto here. It's still dragging on a little bit — it affects my training — but it's good to be back out here competing."

Midd-West is tied for 15th in the team standings after Matthew Smith (139) qualified for the semifinals. Three more Mustangs — Evan Maneval (133), Grant Yount (172) and Bryce Hackenburg (215) — will look to advance in the consolations.

Lewisburg was 24th after only one of its three wrestlers made it to the semifinals. Landen Wagner (139) is the Green Dragons' lone semifinalist. Wagner will take on Smith for a spot in the final.

Landon Michaels (121) and Chase Wenrich (172) will begin today's action in the consolations for the Green Dragons. Wenrich secured a spot in the regional tournament after an opt-out.