By BRIAN CARSON
MILL HALL—King of the Mountain, one of the biggest in-season wrestling tournaments in the state, kicks off Friday at Central Mountain High School.
The first round begins at 11 a.m. A championship round of 16 and the first round of consolations will tentatively start at 2:15 p.m. The second and third round of consolations will take place at 4:45 and 5:45 p.m.
Saturday’s action begins with quarterfinals at 10 a.m. and the fourth round of consolations at 11:30 a.m. The semifinals and consolation quarterfinals will start at 12:45 p.m. The consolation semifinals are scheduled for 3 p.m., and the championship and consolation finals begin at 4:15 p.m.
A total of 32 teams compete for the team title, with 12 Pennsylvania squads state–ranked by PA Power Wrestling. Over 300 wrestlers vie for a championship at the prestigious event.
Greater Latrobe, Chestnut Ridge, Bald Eagle Area, Central Mountain, Brookville, State College, and Philipsburg, New Jersey, are the favorites to battle for the team title. Locally, Bellefonte and Mifflin County join BEA and the Little Lions in the tournament.
This year’s tournament features 29 returning state place-winners,with six of those returning PIAA champions: Northern Lebanon’s Aaron Seidel (AA, 106), Greater Latrobe’s Vincent Kilkeary (AAA, 120), Central Mountain’s Dalton Perry (AAA, 126), Muncy’s Scott Johnson, (AA, 126), State College’s Pierson Manville (AAA, 138) and Chartiers Valley’s Dylan Evans (AAA, 152). Also, Tanner Mizenko of Canon-McMillan enters the tournament top–ranked at 107 in AAA, and Muncy’s Austin Johnson at 215 in AA.
The premier weight class for the tournament is 139, which could potentially have three returning state champions in the field—Perry, Manville, and Johnson. Perry pinned Johnson at the Top Hat tournament last week.
Local State-Ranked Wrestlers at KOM
121. Hunter Johnson, Sr. (No. 10)
133: Blake Aumiller, Jr. (No. 21)
145: Jacob Cunningham, Sr. (No. 21)
152: Parker Kearns, Jr. (No. 17)
133: Hayden Cunningham, Sr. (No. 4)
139: Pierson Manville, Jr. (No. 2)
145: Asher Cunningham, So. (No. 8)
172: Carter Weaverling, Sr. (No. 17)
285: Nick Pavlechko, Jr. (No. 2)
121: Lucas Fye, Jr. (No. 3)
127: Coen Bainey, Jr. (No. 3)
152: Jeffre Pifer, Sr. (No. 21)
172: Caleb Close, So. (No. 6)