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Millhof, Krivus, Marsteller win second Super 32 titles

Josh Lowe

10/27/2013
Josh Lowe, InterMat High School Analyst
josh@intermatwrestle.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The 15th annual Super 32 Challenge came to an end on Sunday afternoon with fourteen wrestlers being crowned as champion, and 112 in all earning placement medals. It was arguably as deep a field at the Super 32 has ever seen, and as deep a field for any scholastic aged event in the country. Seven individuals entered the tournament having won a Super 32 Challenge in the past; however, only three added a second Super 32 title to their resume.

Ryan Millhof (Collins Hill, Ga.), Sam Krivus (Hempfield Area, Pa.), and Chance Marsteller (Kennard Dale, Pa.) are now multiple time champions; while Nick Suriano (Bergen Catholic, N.J.), Michael Kemerer (Franklin Regional, Pa.), Grant Leeth (Kearney, Mo.), and Jesse Webb (Mt. Anthony Union, Vt.) were unable to add a second title to their resume.

Krivus earned his title in the 132 pound weight class, with a 2-1 (ultimate) tiebreaker victory in the ultimate tiebreaker over the previously mentioned Kemerer; that result makes Kemerer now runner-up in back-to-back years, after winning a championship in 2011. Krivus rode out Kemerer in the second period, but was hit for locking hands late in that period; Krivus then scored an escape midway through the third period.

Overtime went scoreless, with Krivus hit for a stalling call. Having scored first, Kemerer had choice in the tiebreaker -- tournament format makes that one 30-second period. He chose top, but was unable to hold Krivus down. On Sunday, Krivus also had wins over a pair of New Jersey state champions, and top 100 seniors: 3-1 over Mike Magaldo (Watchung Hills) in the quarterfinal, and 4-3 over Anthony Giraldo (North Bergen) in the semifinal. His last match win on Saturday came by 3-1 decision against returning Super 32 placer Colby Ems (East Stroudsburg, Pa.)

Millhof was champion in the 126 pound weight class, earning a 3-0 victory in the final against two-time state placer Domenic Forys (North Allegheny, Pa.). Key to Millhof's victory was a first period takedown at the end of a high-action period. He added a rideout in the second period and a third period escape for the final scoring. Other key victories were a 3-1 overtime decision over fellow top 100 senior Zeke Moisey (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.) in the semifinal, a 6-0 decision against three-time state champion Dylan Lucas (Brandon, Fla.) in the quarterfinal, and victories on Saturday over returning Super 32 placer A. C. Headlee (Waynesburg, Pa.) and two-time state placer Weston Basler (Seckman, Mo.)

Marsteller, undefeated in three high school seasons to date, added a 2013 Super 32 title at 170 pounds to his 2011 championship at 160 pounds. The nation's top senior had a fall, two technical falls, and two major decisions on his way to the final -- where it was a 9-3 decision over two-time state champion Taylor Lujan (Carrollton, Ga.)

The tournament's Outstanding Wrestler Award, sponsored by Flips Wrestling, was given to Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional, Pa.) -- champion of the 113 pound weight class with a 3-1 overtime victory over defending champion Suriano. This was a reversal of last year's championship match, which was won 4-3 by Suriano on a late takedown. This go around, there was only an exchange of escapes in regulation before the Lee takedown in overtime.

Earlier matches for Lee included a 6-2 semifinal victory over returning Super 32 placer, and state champion, Jose Rodriguez (Massillon Perry); a 15-0 technical fall over Cadet freestyle champion Jack Mueller (Trinity Christian Academy, Tex.) in the quarterfinal; and a decision victory over state champion Jake Spiess (Delta, Ohio).

Another overtime match that went to derail a repeat champion came in Sunday afternoon's last match, when Patrick Garren (Bishop Ready, Ohio) upended Jesse Webb (Mt. Anthony Union, Vt.) 2-1 in the tiebreaker. Wrestlers in that match traded escapes during regulation, Garren getting the first escape, which enabled him to choose down and get the escape inside the last five or ten seconds. It also happened to avenge last year's tournament semifinal, when Webb scored a pin in overtime on the way to a championship.

Also knocking off a defending Super 32 champion in the finals was Taylor Massa (St. Johns, Mich.), who upended Grant Leeth (Kearney, Mo.) 4-3. Massa gave up the first takedown, but scored an escape before the first period was over; and then scored a takedown to tie the match at the end of two after Leeth had the choice escape. Massa got an escape to start the third and then held to that lead for a title. Other wins during the tournament included a pair over state champions, another over a state runner-up, then yet another against a state placer.

In all, eight wrestlers from the Keystone State ended up earning championship belts on Sunday in the high school division. Among those to join Lee, Krivus, and Marsteller were a pair of teammates from Greater Latrobe -- Luke Pletcher at 120 pounds and Zack Zavatsky at 182.

After finishing third in the two prior seasons, losing both times in the semifinal round, Pletcher got the gold this year running through an impressive gauntlet of competition. Wins on Saturday included a 7-2 decision against two-time Cadet Greco-Roman champion Mitch McKee (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.), plus a decision and pin against state placers. Things were even tighter against even tougher competition on Sunday.

His quarterfinal match was won by 4-2 overtime decision over Junior freestyle third place finisher Kyle Akins (Sycamore, Ill.). The semifinal was also won in overtime, this time it was a 3-1 decision over Sean Russell (Collins Hill, Ga.), who was runner-up last year, and is now a three-time placer in the tournament. It would set up to a finals showdown against fellow sophomore and Pennsylvania state champion George Phillippi (Derry Area). He scored the go-ahead takedown with just under a minute remaining, and was able to keep Phillippi down for the duration and a 5-4 win.

For Zavatsky it was also a rigorous journey, one capped off by a 5-2 finals victory over last year's National Prep champion Nicky Hall (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.). Keys to the match were takedowns in the second and third periods. His semifinal victory came by 5-2 decision over fellow state third placer and FloNationals placer Tom Sleigh (DuBois, Pa.). Zavatsky scored a 17-2 technical fall in the quarterfinals against a returning New Jersey state placer, and had an 8-1 round of 16 win over an Ohio state placer.

Rounding out the Pennsylvania group of champions were Jason Nolf (Kittanning) at 138 pounds, Garrett Peppelman (Central Dauphin) at 160, and Jordan Wood (Boyertown) at 220. Nolf steamrolled his way through the field with three pins, two major decisions, and a pair of seven point decision victories; that includes the 17-7 major decision in the final against fellow top 100 senior Brock Zacherl (Brookville, Pa.). It was only 2-0 after one, but three takedowns in the second extended it to 9-2, while four in the third period made for the overall margin. Other wins for Nolf came against an Iowa state champion, three state runners-up, and a Cadet double All-American.

After placing fifth and sixth the last two years, Peppelman made it to his first final, and then won the title with a 5-2 decision over fellow top 30 seniors Jonathan Schleifer (East Brunswick, N.J.). Peppelman's takedown came in the second period, while it was two late penalty points against Schleifer to reflect the final margin. The last four wins for Peppelman came against wrestlers who finished top three in the state tournament.

Wood earned major decisions in both the semifinal and final round, including an 11-0 finals victory over Christian Butterbrodt (St. John's Prep, Mass.). Last year Wood was fourth at the Super 32 and a Pennsyhlvania runner-up at 220 pounds as a freshman. The championship match was a destruction from start to finish, with a takedown coming in each period and near fall points during the second period.

Rounding out the weight class champions were Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.) at 106 pounds, Jacob Danishek (Dayton Christian, Ohio) at 152, and Chip Ness (Buford, Ga.) at 195.

Diakomihalis, who won the middle school division last year at 100 pounds before winning a New York high school state title in eighth grade at 99 pounds, now has a high school division belt to his credit. After winning 14-3 in the quarterfinal round, he would score a second period pin over state champion Tyler Warner (Claymont, Ohio).

The championship final match was one in which the score belied the dominance. It was a first period takedown, a second period escape, and about three minutes of (unofficial) riding time in a 3-0 decision over state placer and FloNationals placer Gage Curry (North Hills, Pa.). On Saturday, Diakomihalis had a technical fall and two pins, including one over a fellow top 25 freshman.

Three-time state champion Danishek had to survive a very stern test in order to win his final 4-3 over National Prep runner-up Zach Kelly (Kiski Prep, Pa.), who also finished third in Junior freestyle this summer. Danishek was unable to finish on deep attacks in the first and second period, gave up a second period takedown, then needed an escape midway through the third followed by a takedown in the last fifteen seconds. Other wins for Danishek included a pair over state champions, and another over a three-time state runner-up.

Ness improved upon his fourth place finish in the Super 32 last year with a 4-2 finals victory over fellow top 100 senior Derek White (Edmond North, Okla.). All of White's points came in the second period, when earned a reversal and takedown.

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