HERSHEY – Even though he was making his third appearance at the PIAA championships, Austin Harry admitted to still getting those pre-match jitters prior to his first bout.
If the Lake-Lehman junior was nervous on Thursday morning at the Giant Center, he sure didn’t show it. Harry made quick work of his opponent, Chase Schaeffer from Tri Valley with a pin in 2:44 to advance to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class 2A Championships for the second straight year.
“Getting on and off the mat as quick as possible is always nice,” said Harry, who was the only preliminary round winner of the four Wyoming Valley Conference state qualifiers in 2A Thursday morning. “Later on in the tournament you’re not as sore, not as fatigued so getting that first pin is definitely big.”
The 132-pound Harry will need his rest and energy because Friday he has a rematch with Keystone Oaks’ Nick Zanetta, who knocked off the Black Knight last year in the same round by two points en route to taking second in the state. Last year’s match was close as Harry was trailing by one point late while on top then let Zanetta up to try to tie with a takedown, but was unsuccessful.
“Zanetta’s tough but at least I know what he does now and I’ll be a little more prepared for him this year and hopefully it will come my way this year,” added Harry. “I know I’m close with him and he was in the finals last year so that’s how close I am. I’ve been working hard and hopefully this year I can get past that.”
GAR’s A.J. Luton (113 pounds) and Wyoming Area’s Andy Schutz (126) and Nick Heck (138) droped their preliminary round bouts Thursday morning. Of the three only Schutz remained in contention for a medal winning his first consolation match by a tech fall.
Luton and Heck lost and were eliminated.
The Class 3A Championships, which consist of four WVC wrestlers will begin at 4 p.m.
Check back for updates throughout the day.