By Frank Dimon
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- Al Fluman's family has roots in the Williamsport area, so the Mifflinburg coach has a clear understanding of the rich tradition of the Top Hat wrestling tournament. So when three of his wrestlers captured their second Top Hat titles on Saturday night, Fluman, the Wildcats' first year coach, was impressed.
Cole Walter and Nazar Mironenko claimed their second straight titles with easy wins and senior Ty Walter earned a crown for the first time since his freshman year by battling through an injury to his right ankle to pull out a gutsy decision. Four other Wildcats earned medals and Mifflinburg finished seventh in the team race with 120.5 points
Line Mountain also boasted a two-time champion as Seth Lansberry won for the second consecutive year and the Eagles also sent four other wrestlers to the medal stand and finished 12th in the team race with 88.5 points.
Using its superbly balanced lineup, Central Columbia, in its first trip to the tournament, walked away with the team title, outdistancing Class AAA Central Mountain, 163.5-150. The Blue Jays didn't crown a champion when all three finalists lost but 11 of the team's 13 wrestlers earned a medal. Central Mountain crowned one champion had six other medalists.
"(Winning two titles) is a real cool accomplishment for them," Fluman said. "My family is from the Williamsport area so the tournament and its history is not lost on me. What they did was cool. This was my first go around with them and I was very pleased with all three of those guys, the way that they wrestled and their attitudes throughout the tournament.
Cole Walter, who thumped Ryan Ramich of Schuylkill Valley, 17-2 (3:14) in the semifinals, used a six-point third period to major stubborn Dylan Graham of Clearfield in the final at 132. Leading 4-1 to start the third period, Walter, a sophomore, escaped, added a takedown, and three near fall points to get his third bonus point win of the tournament.