Two standouts notch third title in row in WPIAL Class AA wrestling

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In the past 75 years, 83 wrestlers won at least three WPIAL individual championships.

Saturday, two more added their names to the list.

Kittanning junior Jason Nolf and Burrell senior Dakota DesLauriers won their third WPIAL Class AA titles at Chartiers Valley.

Nolf defeated Keystone Oaks' Nick Zanetta, 3-0, in the title match at 132 pounds. It was the second time in a week Nolf (38-0) had defeated Zanetta after beating the Golden Eagles senior, 1-0, for the Section 3 title Feb. 16. Zanetta took silver in the WPIAL, PIAA Southwest Regional and PIAA tournament last season.

"He's just a great wrestler," said Nolf, referring to Zanetta. "He's strong and he stays in good position."

For the second season in a row, DesLauriers (29-0) beat Valley's Terrell Fields for the 182-pound title. The score was tied, 0-0, after the second period, but DesLauriers recorded two takedowns and an escape to win, 5-1.

Nolf and DesLauriers acknowledged the accomplishment of winning three titles, but have grander goals.

"It's just a stepping stone, it's not the goal," said DesLauriers. "I'm looking forward to the next step."

Nolf won the 103-pound state title as a freshman, but took third last season at 113 pounds after losing in the PIAA semifinals to Ryan Diehl of District 3's Trinity. It is his only loss in 126 high school matches.

DesLauriers finished third in the state at 170 pounds in 2011 and took second last year at 182.

Nolf and DesLauriers were not the only two wrestlers to defend their 2012 WPIAL titles. Joining them were South Side Beaver's Nathan Reckner (29-2) at 120 pounds, Nick Gavazzi (32-0) at 138 pounds, South Fayette's Jared Walker (28-6) at 160 and Dustin Conti (34-0) at 170.

Conti needed two tiebreaker periods to beat South Fayette's Mike Fetchet, 7-6.

The only returning champion to lose in the final was Tanner Sutton of Chartiers-Houston, who fell in the 145-pound championship to Burrell's Phil Marra (26-6), 5- 0.

Alan Beattie (33-8) made it three Burrell champions by pinning Southmoreland's Jacob Beistel in 5:30 in the 285-pound final.

"We just have a good tradition," DesLauriers said. "We had a shirt last year that said 'Tradition never graduates.' "

Two freshmen also stood atop the medal platform. Derry's George Phillippi (35-3) at 113 pounds notched an escape with 47 seconds left in the third period to beat South Fayette's Seth Carr, 1-0. South Park's Greg Bulsak (31-7) also notched a shutout in the championship of the 126-pound final, winning, 4-0, against Bentworth's Vince Vahaly. Bulsak did not have a point scored on him the entire tournament.

Other first-time WPIAL champions were Burgettstown's Austin McDermitt (33-4) at 106 pounds, Freedom's Boe Bonzo (23-3) at 152, Chartiers-Houston's Garrett Vulcano (39-2) at 195 and Jake Temple (34-1) at 220.

The top seven wrestlers from each weight class qualified for the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional wrestling championships at Cambria County War Memorial Arena Friday and Saturday.

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