LHU wrestling dominates Clarion

LOCK HAVEN — If you had thoughts of a possible letdown by the Lock Haven University wrestling team on the heels of its big win over Rider Friday night, forget it because it never happened.

Coming out strong and focused, the Bald Eagles won the battle of the birds as they dominated the Clarion Golden Eagles for a 35-6 win before a nice crowd at Thomas Field House Sunday afternoon.

“Coming in, especially off a big win on Friday, I could see the intensity in our guys eyes and that they were focused,” said LHU head coach Scott Moore. “Knowing coming in that we had a better team so if we would go out and compete hard, force the action and score points that the match was going to go our way.”

Every good team has a spark plug to ignite the fire and set the tone in a dual meet and for LHU, Luke Werner has been doing that very well of late.

Using four takedowns, an escape, penalty point and two back points plus time, Werner easily defeated Gavin Park to stake the Bald Eagles to a quick 4-0 lead with a 13-1 major decision over Park.

“I like to work on my feet, but right now I feel that I can go to work on top as well,” said Werner. “I didn’t get a chance to work on top a lot today, but right that now is one of my strong points.”

As for leading things off, Werner likes that position in the LHU scheme of things.

“I really love going first,” said Werner. “I think it is perfect for me because it gives me less time to think about my match and get stressed out. After weigh-ins, there is not much time before my match comes up so that I can go out and get the win, come back to the bench and watch my teammates.”

Just as in the win over Rider, D. J. Fehlman and Kyle Shoop followed suit with wins, Fehlman downing former BEA product Seth Koleno 9-5 before Shoop did his thing as he won by technical fall over Jalin Hankerson by a 16-0 count in 4:12 as the early LHU lead ballooned to 12-0.

For Shoop, the technical fall extends his streak of techs as he now leads the nation in that category by three.

Former Bellefonte Red Raider product Brock Port continues to wrestle in tough luck as he fell behind Avery Shay 3-0 before nearly pulling the win out of the fire with a takedown in the third period.

Taking a cue from Shoop, Alex Klucker joined in the tech fall parade when he blanked Joe Silowski 16-0 in 3:19 for his five-pointer, giving the Bald Eagles a commanding 17-3 lead midway through the dual meet.

Looking better each time out, returning All-American Chance Marsteller mauled Evan Delong for a 9-1 lead before getting the fall at 4:31 of the bout.

Although in somewhat less spectacular fashion, Jared Siegrist and Corey Hazel followed with solid decisions, Siegrist coming off his back to down Max Wohlabaugh 10-6 before Hazel used three takedowns and time for a 7-4 decision over Ty Bagoly at 184.

Bald Eagle freshman Parker McClellan was blanked 5-0 by nationally-ranked Greg Bulsak at 197 before Thomas Haines displayed a lot of aggressiveness at 285, sending the fans to the exits when he broke open a 10-3 match with Toby Cahill, Haines decking Cahill at the 5:18 mark of their hookup.

With the win, Lock Haven won the 2018-19 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Division I Dual Championship with wins over Edinboro, Bloomsburg and Clarion.

“There was no team score held at the (PSAC) tournament so it is between the four Division I schools in dual meet competition to decide the PSAC champion for the season,” explained Moore. “Moving forward, that is the way it is, that way it is possible to crown a PSAC champion.”

Heading down the home stretch toward the EWL and national tournament, Moore likes what he sees from his troops.

“We are happy with where we are right now,” said Moore. “We had some injuries in the middle of the season and right now out guys are buying in and believing in themselves. The conditioning is there, we are about as healthy as we have been and our plan it to stay healthy before turning it up through the EWL tournament.”

Lock Haven 35, Clarion 6

125: Luke Werner, LH, maj. Dec. Gavin Park, 13-1, (4-0). 133: D. J. Fehlman, LH, dec. Seth Koleno, 9-5. (7-0). 141: Kyle Shoop, LH, tech. fall Jalin Hankderson, 16-0, 4:12. (12-0). 149: Avery Shay, C. dec. Brock Port, 3-2. (12-3). 157: Alex Klucker, LH, tech. fall Joe Silowski, 16-0, 3:19. (17-3). 165: Chance Marsteller, LH, pinned Evan Delong, 4:31. (23-3). 174: Jared Siegrist, LH, dec. Max Wohlabaugh, 10-6. (26-3). 184: Corey Hazel, LH, dec. Ty Bagoly, 7-4. (29-3). 197: Greg Bulsak, C, dec. Parker McClellan, 5-0. (29-6). 285: Thomas Haines, LH, pinned Toby Cahill, 5:18. (35-6). Official: Randy Brungard.