On Feb. 15, Darion Trimmer became the first Avonworth wrestler since Curtis Branchen in the mid-2000s to win a section title.
Now the Antelopes junior is heading to the Class AA Southwest Regional championships.
Trimmer won three of his five matches last weekend at the WPIAL Class AA championship tournament at Chartiers Valley, taking fourth place in the 132-pound weight class.
"I'm happy to move on, but I wish I would have finished better," Trimmer said.
Trimmer (30-13) came into the tournament as the No. 3 seed and won his first two matches to advance to the semifinals, where he faced No. 2 seed Evan Myers of Southmoreland.
The two were tied, 1-1, after regulation and the first overtime. Starting in the down position in the first 30-second session of double overtime, Trimmer escaped in the first five seconds and went into the second part of the period up, 2-1.
But Myers gained a point early in the 30-second session because Trimmer was penalized for locking hands, then Myers escaped within the final 10 seconds to win, 3-2.
Trimmer dropped to the consolation semifinals, where he eked out a 2-1 victory against Freedom Area's Dean Ward. He then lost to Burrell's John Andrejcik, 10-0, in the consolation final.
"He struggled with [the loss to Myers]; it was a tough loss for him," Avonworth coach Tim Giel said. "I don't think he wrestled well in the next two matches. He can improve and we'll get there."
Trimmer's brother, Anthony, also participated in the tournament at 138 pounds. Anthony Trimmer came within one match of advancing to the regionals last season, but lost his first two matches at this season's WPIAL tournament.
He continued to provide his brother with support, however, throughout the event.
"He was here to support me," Darion Trimmer said. "We both support each other and always stick by each other's side no matter what happens. He helped me through everything."
Trimmer will be joined by two teammates in Johnstown Friday, Brandon Wasko and KaDale Coles. Wasko (20-19) finished sixth at 195 pounds Saturday, while Coles (26-16), who also qualified for the regional tournament last season, took fifth at 285 pounds.
"I always want to get more, but that's just me," Giel said. "I'm competitive.
"I thought they would get through, I was hoping for higher finishes, but they did what they did. They wrestled well enough to get through. And we always tell the kids, it's not about winning this one, it's about moving on."
Trojans wrestler injured
North Catholic's Josh Churchin saw his WPIAL tournament come to an end early this season.
Due to an injury default, the Trojans' 170-pound senior had his first match of the tournament against Chartiers-Houston's Derek Hull end late in the first period.
The injury caused Churchin (15-9) to forfeit his following match, eliminating him from the tournament.
Churchin finished fourth at 170 pounds at the 2013 WPIAL Class AA tournament.
Highlands senior advances
After finishing fifth last season at the WPIAL Class AA tournament at 138 pounds, Highlands senior Nolan Wise moved up the ladder one rung this season.
Wise (30-8) went 3-2 at 152 pounds Saturday, losing to South Park's Greg Bulsak, last year's 126-pound WPIAL champion, in the third-place match.
Wise moves on to the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional tournament, where he went 1-2 last season.