HERSHEY – Austin Harry practiced hard and prepared for a whole year to get a rematch with Hanover’s Ian Brown.
That match came Friday night in the PIAA Class 2A Championships.
And while the Lake-Lehman senior closed the gap after a five-point loss to Brown in last year’s third-place bout, he unfortunately, still came up short.
The Black Knight 132-pounder lost to Brown, 4-3 in the state semifinals to fall short of reaching his ultimate goal — winning a state championship.
“Everyone’s been saying since the brackets came out that was the finals match and it was going to be my toughest match, in my opinion,” Harry said. “I work just as hard as anyone here. Just came up a little short of my goal of being a state champ but I’m just one win away from getting bronze and being a three-time medalist.”
He fought off several shot attempts in the first period and countered them, but eventually Brown got two points for a takedown late in the first period.
In the second period, Harry began on bottom and escaped then grabbed a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead. But Brown’s strength helped him get an escape and equal the score heading into the third period.
That’s when Brown chose the down position, escaped and fought off Harry’s attempts at a takedown to hang on for the 4-3 lead.
Harry had trouble getting a takedown because when Brown is in neutral position, he is very low to the mat and his hands protect his legs from opponents’ shots.
“It was really just about putting two shots together,” Harry said. “It was just a little too late in that match. He’s a top dog there and I gave everything he could handle. I had him on the ropes but just couldn’t get the job done.”
The Black Knight fell into the consolation bracket for the fourth straight season. He faced Mike Carr from South Fayette in the fourth consolations won 3-2 and will wrestle for third for the second straight season this afternoon at 2.
“Every year I come down here I can’t seem to get that last win,” said Harry, who took eighth as a sophomore and fourth last year. “You want to end your year with a win and I just gotta get ready, be mentally prepared and wrestle tough.”
Harry reached the semis for the second straight season after winning via major decision, 10-1 over Brookville junior Dalton Zimmerman in the quarters.
It took a little while for Harry to get going in that bout, as the first period was scoreless and Zimmerman got an escape in the second period to go up 1-0. But Harry got a takedown when he caught Zimmerman with a bow-and-arrow, then recorded three points for nearfall as the clock expired in the second. Harry did the same thing in the third period choosing neutral, getting two for a takedown and three more back points off a tilt for the easy victory.
While Harry was the only District 2 wrestler in Class 2A competing on Friday, he wasn’t the only one with local ties to secure a state medal.
Northwest, which is part of a co-op with Benton, was guaranteed three medalists.
Freshman Mike Stuart advanced to the 120-pound semifinals before falling into the consolations and losing his next match to drop to the fifth-place match. Rangers quarterback for the football team, Logan Womelsdorf, who wrestles at 195, lost his quarterfinal bout Friday morning to fall into the consolations, where he won two matches but lost his third. Like Stuart, he will wrestle for fifth today.