Rustin wins sectional, crowns six champs

Among the 10 teams and 112 participants in action, West Chester Rustin sent eight wrestlers to the podium Saturday.

A few other schools could say the same, but the Rustin presence on the pedestal easily outweighed the rest at the District 1 Class AAA Section 6 individual tournament at Garnet Valley.

Six Rustin wrestlers grabbed first-place gold, two others earned bronze, and the team as a whole led the field in total points with 162.5. Second place went to host Garnet Valley (138.5), and in third came Marple Newtown (133).

Rustin, the Ches-Mont American champion, was the clear standout, but coach Brad Harkins said he thought his team could have advanced more wrestlers to districts. Still, he was impressed with the squad's results in the medal round.

"They stepped it up in this round tonight," he said. "They wrestled great."

The top four wrestlers in each weight class advanced to next weekend's District 1 South individual tournament. All 10 teams qualified at least three wrestlers.

Rustin, Marple Newtown, West Chester Henderson, and Garnet Valley each will send eight participants to districts. Penncrest advanced five wrestlers; Avon Grove, Conestoga, Strath Haven and West Chester East each qualified four; and Oxford will send three representatives.

Corey McQuiston, Rustin's 112-pounder, repeated as section champ in the weight class. Evan Harkins, Brad's nephew, improved on his runner-up showing last year to win the 119 division. Steve Quinn (135), Greg Thurston (152), Kyle Hoch (160), and Tyler Wood (171) were Rustin's other first-place finishers.

Evan Harkins, whose left eye was swollen after taking a knee to the face in an earlier match, was happy to better his finish from a season ago by pinning Marple's Ryan Flynn in the second period.

"I had a disappointing end to last year," said Evan Harkins, a junior. "So it feels good to come back and get it done this time."

Garnet Valley's tournament was headlined by its big guys, 215-pounder Matt Idelson and heavyweight Brendan Walsh. Walsh, wrestling with an injured left knee (possible torn meniscus), repeated as Section 6's champ at 285 with a decision over Henderson's Mark Muscari.

University of Chicago (Division III) coach Leo Kocher was in attendance, and Garnet Valley coach Rocco Fantazzi said that he was in town to recruit Walsh.

Idelson pinned Matt Muscari (Mark's twin) for his 100th career win and first sectional crown. Both Idelson and Walsh have two losses between them this season (one each), and were happy to win their respective weight classes in their home gym.

"Anytime getting it is fun, but at home, it's really something special," Idelson said.

"It's a great feeling," Walsh added. "I'm going to miss this place. It's been a great four years, and I'm going to miss it a lot."

Henderson's Charlie Grab, a junior, won his second straight sectional title with a win at 145 pounds; as a sophomore, he took the 125-pound crown. Conestoga's Nick Becattini also won his weight class for the consecutive year, this time grabbing the title at 189 (last season at 171).

The results

Championship Finals

Team scoring: West Chester Rustin 162.5, Garnet Valley 138.5, Marple Newtown 133, W.C. Henderson 126, Conestoga 79.5, West Chester East 60, Avon Grove 57.5, Penncrest 48.5, Oxford 42.5, Strath Haven 30.

103: Jim Long, W.C. Henderson, dec. Jason Rinaldi, Marple Newtown, 4-0. 112: Corey McQuiston, W.C. Rustin, major dec. Aaron Moldoff, Marple Newtown, 14-2. 119: Evan Harkins, W.C. Rustin, pin Ryan Flynn, Marple Newtown, 3:15. 125: Matt Flynn, Marple Newtown, pin Kyle Loeg, Garnet Valley, 2:57. 130: Ben Hartshorn, Conestoga, dec. Ryan Celenza, W.C. East, 8-5. 135: Steve Quinn, W.C. Rustin, major dec. Josh Demi, W.C. Henderson, 11-1. 140: Sam Tustin, Garnet Valley, dec. Logan Kerin, Conestoga, 7-3. 145: Charlie Grab, W.C. Henderson, dec. Ryan Montgomery, 3-2. 152: Greg Thurston, W.C. Rustin, dec. Thomas Obi-Tabot, Garnet Valley, 8-2. 160: Kyle Hoch, W.C. Rustin, pin Jason Hostetter, Oxford, 5:15. 171: Tyler Wood, W.C. Rustin, major dec. Chris Kurkian, Marple Newtown, 11-0. 189: Nick Becattini, Conestoga, major dec. Scott Gassenmeyer, W.C. East, 12-3. 215: Matt Idelson, Garnet Valley, pin Matt Muscari, W.C. Henderson, 3:03. 285: Brendan Walsh, Garnet Valley, dec. Mark Muscari, W.C. Henderson, 8-4.

Third-Place Consolations

103: Edgar Garcia, Avon Grove, pin Gunnar Michels, Penncrest, 2:21. 112: Michael Marino, Garnet Valley, pin Todd Christy, Conestoga, 1:56. 119: Fred Alderman, Garnet Valley, dec. Tyler Clapp, Strath Haven, 8-1. 125: John Dunleavy, W.C. Rustin, dec. Kevin Folkes, W.C. Henderson, 2-0. 130: Matt Wilkinson, Marple Newtown, pin Austin Leach, Strath Haven, 1:18. 135: John Inzaina, Avon Grove, pin Ronnie Frank, Penncrest, 1:55. 140: Tom DiSanti, W.C. Rustin, major dec. Ben Prather, Avon Grove, 15-4. 145: Tom Antista, Marple Newtown, pin Paul Manwaring, Strath Haven, 4:02. 152: Ryder Harkins, W.C. Henderson, dec. Collin Moran, Oxford, 1-0. 160: Joe Gartland, Penncrest, pin Dillon Hoilman, Avon Grove, 2:35. 171: Van Barrett, W.C. East, dec. Derek Matonti, W.C. Henderson, 3-2. 189: Brian Poling, Garnet Valley, win by default Evan Marabella, Penncrest. 215: Ken Smith, Marple Newtown, pin Robbie Marsden, Penncrest, 6:45 (OT). 285: Brendon Vaikeli, W.C. East, major dec. Connor McCullough, Strath Haven, 9-1.

 


Contact Evan Burgos at rallysports@phillynews.com.