Saturday, December 8, 2018

LHU wrestling team - Bald Eagles crown four champs, dominate field at PSAC Tournament

Image Courtesy of Lock Haven University Sports Information

The nationally-ranked LHU wrestling team put on a show today at the 2018 PSAC Tournament as the Bald Eagles came away with four individual champions including Thomas Haines, who became a three-time PSAC champion.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - The Lock Haven University wrestling team – ranked No. 17 in Division I – dominated the field at the 2018 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament today at Kutztown University and the Bald Eagles crowned four individual champions. Leading the way was 285-pounder Thomas Haines (Quarryville, Pa./Solanco), who became a three-time PSAC champion.

The Bald Eagles also saw a pair of true-freshmen take home titles thanks to dominating tournament runs by true-freshman Dalton Rohrbaugh (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) at 133 pounds and fellow rookie Luke McGonigal (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield) at 197. Redshirt-junior DJ Fehlman (Warren, Pa./Warren) took home the PSAC title at 141 pounds, rounding out LHU’s champions today.

Haines, a redshirt-senior and nationally-ranked 285 pounder, became Lock Haven’s 21stthree-time PSAC champion.

Despite a new tournament format and no team championship on the line, the Bald Eagles still flexed their muscles and showed their dominance, sending six to the finals. LHU put on a show early and advanced eight of 10 guys into the semifinals. The six finalists by Lock Haven were the most of any of the 12 teams in the field today.

Jonathan Ross (Dillsburg, Pa./Northern York) and Jared Siegrist (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) finished second at 149 and 174, respectively.

Luke Werner (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) placed third at 125 after going 3-1 on the day while Collin Glorioso (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon) finished the day 2-2 to take fourth at 157 pounds, rounding out the Bald Eagles’ eight top-four finishes.

Rohrbaugh, the Bald Eagles rookie 133-pounder, looked more like a poised and savvy veteran, capping his perfect 3-0 day with a dominating major decision in the championship bout. In the finals, Rohrbaugh majored Pitt-Johnstown’s Matthew Siszka, 12-4.

Fehlman won the 141-pound title to make it back-to-back (133 & 141 pounds) PSAC crowns for the Bald Eagles. Fehlman used back-to-back pins and a 2-0 record to earn his spot in the finals. In the title bout, he edged Edinboro’s Carmine Ciotti, 6-5 for the crown.

McGonigal, LHU’s second true-freshman to reach the finals today, went 3-0 on the way to the title at 197 pounds. He opened the day with a 16-3 major decision and followed it up with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Edinboro’s Dylan Reynolds, the top-seed, in the semifinals. In the finals, McGonigal downed Colton Dull (Millersville), 7-3.

Haines closed the day as Lock Haven’s fourth PSAC champion. Haines, ranked No. 11 in Division I, proved worthy of his ranking and went 3-0 with a pair of major decisions. Haines opened the tournament with a 10-0 major and followed it up with a 13-5 major decision in the semifinals. In the finals, he rolled by Colton Dull of Kutztown, 6-0 for the 285-pound title. For Haines, today’s championship marked the third PSAC title of his Bald Eagle career.

Ross was second at 149. He was 2-1 on the day and his only loss came in the finals. Like Ross, Siegrist was 2-1 for the tournament and his only loss came in the 174-pound finals.

Today’s action was held under a new format for the first time ever.

The 2018-19 PSAC Wrestling Tournament featured a new structure. Continuing the tradition of the past 75 plus years, individual champions at each of the 10 respective weight classes were recognized.  Beginning this year, no team champion was determined for the tournament. At the end of the season, a Division I PSAC and Division II PSAC champion will be crowned based on dual results within the conference vs. respective NCAA level opponents.

Last season (2017-18; Dec. 9, 2017), when the Bald Eagles took home the team title at the PSAC Championship behind five individual champions the title marked Lock Haven's 20th PSAC title, the most of any conference school and it was the Bald Eagles first in 17 seasons.

Several Bald Eagles will compete unattached tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 9) at George Mason’s Patriot Open (10 a.m.). Following tomorrow’s action, the nationally-ranked Bald Eagles will return to action on Sunday, December 16 when they make the short trip east to take on rival Bloomsburg University in an important PSAC and EWL dual (1 p.m.).

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