CANONSBURG — Seneca Valley's wrestlers saved the best for last Saturday night during the WPIAL Class AAA Championships at Canon-McMillan.
Four Raiders wrapped up berths in the PIAA tourney later this week and each closed the WPIAL event with victories — including three individual championships.
“To come away with one champion down there is an achievement in itself,” SV coach Kevin Wildrick said. “To have three kids win is phenomenal.”
Dylan Chappell (39-4) won the 106-pound division, Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (44-1) won at 113 pounds and Antonio Amelio (30-13) at 145. Each became a WPIAL champion for the first time.
“It's great that we both won,” Chappell said of he and Herrera-Rondon. “We push ourselves in the room all the time to make each other better. I think we have.”
Jason Geyer placed third at 132 pounds for the Raiders, pinning Zach McCann of Franklin Regional at 1:38 in the consolation final. Geyer decisioned McCann earlier in the event.
“It's tough to beat the same kid twice in a season, let alone in the same tournament,” Wildrick said. “Jason just went after it and put the kid on his back.”
Chappell decisioned Carter Dilbert of Franklin Regional 5-1 in double overtime of the 106-pound final.
“I felt like I had control of the match,” Chappell said. “I scored an escape early in the second period and he didn't get his escape until late in the third.
“In the second (30-second) overtime, I was able to get him on his back right away and picked up a few riding points for the win.”
Herrera-Rondon shut out his last two opponents, defeating Finn Solomon of Franklin Regional 3-0 in the semifinals and Kyle Burkholder of Hempfield 8-0 in the finals.
“He just went there and got it done,” Wildrick said.
Amelio had a dramatic win in the 145-pound final. After defeating top-seeded Jackson Gray of Mt. Lebanon 5-0 in the semifinal, Amelio trailed Trey Howard of Waynesburg 3-2 late in their title bout.
He suddenly turned him and pinned him with 11 seconds left in the bout.
“Antonio has such a unique style,” Wildrick said. “He got underneath the kid and put him on his back. That was pretty dramatic.”
Mars junior 160-pounder Jake Richardson (27-3) is also headed to Hershey. He reached the WPIAL final before losing a 4-0 decision to Jack Blumer of Kiski Area.
Richardson decisioned No. 2 seed Ty McGeary of West Allegheny 12-2 in the semifinals.
“Jake is so mentally strong,” Mars coach Bob Jox said. “He lost to McGeary earlier in the season, then came out and dominated that semifinal match.
“He was competitive in the final as well. He had a great tournament. He's had a great year.”