SPRING MILLS, Pa. – Picking up 11 points in the final two bouts of Saturday’s District 6 Class 2A dual-meet tournament, fourth-seeded United snared the first district crown in the 63-year history of its program by clipping No. 2 Huntingdon 33-30 at Penns Valley Area High School.
The Lions (19-0) used a technical fall from Jacob Sombronski at 107 pounds and a pin from Josef Garshnick at 114 to rally past the Bearcats, who led 30-22 as the weights rolled to the lighter classes.
“We knew their heavyweight (Gunner Singleton) was a hammer,” United coach Josh Henning said.
“But we knew what was coming down the line. There at the end was Garshnick and Sombronski, and we felt pretty confident we were gonna get the bonus points.”
Sombronski also tallied a major decision to preserve a narrow lead in United’s 32-27 win against top-seeded Penns Valley in the semifinals.
In a high-pressure spot, Sombronski wasn’t fazed, especially with Garshnick following.
“I really don’t let the pressure get to me,” he said. “I just go out there and wrestle. Have fun with it. Don’t really think about too much. Wrestle better when you’re just having fun. It’s great to have another teammate to back you up, but when teams need me, I’ll do whatever I need to do.”
The reward for United is the program’s first trip to the PIAA dual meet tournament, which will pit the Lions against an opponent to be determined Monday.
“I’m pretty excited,” Garshnick said. “I didn’t think I’d get this chance to go to Hershey this year, but we did really well and I’m really excited.”
The tournament will also give United (19-0) a chance to see how it measures up against some of the state’s strongest programs in Class 2A.
“We can’t wait,” Henning said. “Couple of the coaches and I and we’ve actually looked a little bit ahead. We didn’t want to tell the kids that, but we did actually pull a couple of the lineups and some of those big-name schools and it sort of opened our eyes as to how far I think we can do pretty well out in Hershey.”
The Lions scored wins by Gideon Bracken (121) and Colton Henning (127) to start off with a seven-point lead. Huntingdon rallied to take the next 18 points thanks to decisions by Dominic Peruso (133) and Eric Mykut (139), and pins from Grady Clark and Devin Grubb at 145 and 152, respectively.
Aiden Gallagher opened the United rally with a decision at 160. Pins by Dylan Stephens and Sawyer McGinnis at 189 and 215 pulled the Lions within two points before Singleton’s fall at 285.
United was without 145-pounder Traystin Tomalson, who lost his grandfather before the Lions’ quarterfinal win over Mount Union.
“We had one teammate we didn’t bring along with us today,” Henning said. “He lost his grandfather this week, actually before the quarters on Tuesday morning … We went out wrestled for his pap as Pat was always with us and they actually had the funeral service this morning. So he wasn’t able to make it, but we said we’re going to be calling you here in the early afternoon. Get you on the fire truck for the escort and bring our District 6 trophy home, so we talked to the kids beforehand and said, ‘Let’s go out when it for those guys. Traystan and his family.’”
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