INDIANA – Jackson Arrington and Erik Gibson captured titles on Saturday and three other Forest Hills wrestlers placed to help lead the Rangers to a second-place finish in the 30-team Mid Winter Mayhem Tournament at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Arrington made a strong push for the Outstanding Wrestler Award – which went to DuBois senior Ed Scott – with an impressive performance that included a pin of state medalist Gable Strickland of Benton in the 126-pound final.
“I thought I performed pretty well this weekend,” said Arrington, who needed overtime to beat Strickland on his way to a state title as a freshman last season.
This time, Arrington locked up a first-period cradle and pinned Strickland in 1:23.
Gibson, who like Arrington is a sophomore, also was impressive. He scored a 15-7 major decision over Berlin Brothersvalley’s Tristan Pugh in the 145-pound final. The two practice together often at the Young Guns Wrestling Club, but that didn’t stop them from piling up points, especially in the first period, when it looked like they were drilling takedowns with little resistance from the opposition.
“We’re pretty good friends,” said Gibson, who admitted he didn’t know how to defend Pugh’s high-crotch attacks. “We practice a lot together. It was kind of awkward.”
Forest Hills’ Easton Toth finished second at 113 pounds, where he was pinned by Cedar Cliff’s Aiden Lewis.
Ryan Weyandt (160 pounds) took third and Noah Teeter (132) placed seventh for the Rangers, who finished second to AAA power North Allegheny.
“I think all of our guys did pretty well,” Arrington said. “Even the guys that didn’t place wrestled well.”
Bishop McCort Catholic’s Ethan Marcozzi took second at 170 pounds.
He was beaten 10-1 by Freedom Area’s Trent Schultheis in the championship.
Berlin Brothersvalley’s Brady Boburchock was the runner-up at 220 pounds after an 8-3 loss to Benton’s Zach Poust. Boburchock led after one period and was tied until Poust got a takedown and three nearfall points late in the second.
The Mountaineers finished just outside the top 10 in the team standings while North Star was two spots ahead in ninth.
The Cougars didn’t have any finalists, but Nathan Pelesky (106) and Alec Supanick (152) each placed third.