The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 17, 2014

H.S. wrestling: Southern Columbia's Lane makes a memory


Daily Item

---- — One milestone that got lost in all of the excitement of the PIAA championships this past weekend was the 100th career win for Southern Columbia's Kent Lane.

The junior 138-pounder achieved the milestone with his 2-1 quarterfinal victory over George McGuire, of Fort LeBoeuf, on Thursday morning.

His 101st came later that night when his team had what coach Jerry Marks called the greatest night in Southern Columbia wrestling.

Lane and his freshman cousin, Todd, along with Marks' son, Blake, a sophomore, all won dramatically in the semifinals, much to the delight of a large group of Southern fans.

Lane, with his loss in the final, will take a 101-12 mark into his senior season.

n THERE HE IS: Family and friends of Blake Marks cheered loudly during the pre-championship ceremonies on Saturday afternoon. Marks' pin and celebration in the semifinals was among the highlights shown in a video on the big screen above the Giant Center floor before the start of the finals.

n WRONG YEAR: What more did Thomas Haines have to do to be voted by the media as the Class AAA Outstanding wrestler in this year's state tournament? The answer: show up one year later.

All the Solanco senior 285-pounder did was win his fourth state title on Saturday night, the 12th time it has been done in tournament history. His 6-1 decision over Pottsgrove junior Pat Fin completed a season in which he was 42-0 with a career mark of 174-5.

Unfortunately for Haines, the 11th time a wrestler won four titles happened just a short time earlier, when Kennard-Dale senior Chance Marsteller won at 170, finishing with a 166-0 career mark (41-0 this season).

Moreover, Marsteller, coached by Shikellamy's former two-time state medalist Mike Balestrini, had the more impressive tournament: a fall in 1:23, a technical fall in 4:47, another tech fall in a ridiculous 1:48, and a 14-2 major in the final. He finished the season at 41-0.

For those in attendance, it was a unique treat to see two wrestlers become four-time champs the same night.

n MORE HARDWARE: The OW awards, not sanctioned by the PIAA, are awarded by former Clearfield state champion and founder of Pennsylvania Wrestling Roundup, Norm Palovscik, of Lock Haven. They are given in memory of the late Cedar Cliff coach, Bob Craig.

Marsteller won the AAA award while the AA winner was Kittanning senior Jason Nolf (145), who won his third title, to go with a bronze.

Palovscik also gave awards to the wrestler in each class with the most pins in the least amount of time in the tournament: AA, Burrell's Allan Beattie (three in 6:14); AAA, Cumberland Valley's TC Warner (two in 4:35).

n CLOSE, BUT…: Had Richland senior Nico Pecora won the title at 170 on Saturday afternoon, it might have been somewhat bittersweet. Pecora went into the final versus Kane senior Evan DeLong with 98 career wins. He lost but, on the bright side, he didn't finish at 99, and be left to wonder where he could have picked up just one more victory.

On the other hand, two of his wins in the tournament came in overtime.

n Harold Raker covers high school wrestling for The Daily Item.