Caleb Fralick and Evan Wellner with their third-place medals from the PJW Area 8 Qualifier. Both advanced to the PJW Championships. Photo submitted.

Fralick, Wellner Qualify for PJW Championships

February 21, 2024

Caleb Fralick and Evan Wellner each took third place at the PJW Area 8 Qualifier on Saturday, earning them a trip the PJW Championships next month.

Fralick and Wellner, representing Warren Little Wrestlers/Kinzua Wrestling Club, will compete at the PJW Championships March 23 and 24 at the University of Pittsburgh’s Peterson Event Center.

Full recaps for WLW wrestlers follow:

12U 70lbs

Ethan Gustafson faced off against Ben Brennan (Edinboro) in his first match. Brennan scored a quick takedown and turned Gustafson to his back for an eventual 8-0 score. In the second period, a locking hands penalty by Brennan earned Gustafson 1 point. Gustafson wrestled hard, keeping it a scoreless second period. Starting on their feet in the third period, Brennan got an early takedown and was held scoreless the rest of the match. Gustafson lost by a 10-1 decision. In Gustafson’s second match, he faced off against Lucas Sorensen (Sheffield). Gustafson imposed his will early, leading to a quick stall warning against Sorensen. A strong takedown by Gustafson was followed by two near-falls to end the first period up 6-0. The second period was scoreless. Gustafson won by fall at the 2:54mark to secure the win. Gustafson’s third match came against Jake McGuigan (Ragin’ Raisins). McGuigan secured a first period takedown to make the score 2-0, eventually ending Gustafson’s day with a 4-1 win. Gustafson wrestled hard all day and certainly didn’t make it easy for his opponents.

12U 70lbs

Caleb Fralick opened his day against Coltt Williams (Edinboro). Williams secured a takedown to make the score 2-0 in the first. After an escape and a takedown, Williams led 5-0 after two periods. Fralick kept his head in the match and earned a reversal late and quickly rolled Williams over for the fall at 3:12. Fralick then faced Jake McGuigan (Ragin’ Raisins) in his second match. Fralick got the early takedown, but gave up a reversal in the first period. In the second period, Fralick scored a reversal to pull ahead. In the third, Fralick again remained resilient in OT scoring the first takedown to earn a spot in the championship match versus Ben Brennan. In the Championship round Brennan (Edinboro) came out aggressively and scored a quick takedown and locking in a tight cradle for a fall at the :52 mark of the first. Even with this loss, Fralick was still able to secure his spot for the PJW championship in Pittsburgh. Caleb finished his day placing third overall after a loss for second place.

10U 65lbs

Evan Wellner started his day against the second seed Blake Johnson (Girard). In a low scoring match, Wellner was able to score with two takedowns for a 4-2 win. Wellner’s second match was against the eventual champion Jace Cote (Union City). The first period yielded zero points, but by the second period Cote was able to score with a switch taking a 2-0 lead. In the third period, Wellner shot a double leg and scored to tie 2-2. Wellner was able to keep his opponent down until the last seconds of the match, when Cote scored an escape for a 1 point victory. Wellner’s third match was against Leyton Curtis (Eisenhower). Wellner started off by scoring a takedown in the first to take a 2-0 lead. In the second period, Wellner fought off a continuous barrage of attacks by Curtis to keep the score 2-0. In the third, Wellner was able to score on a switch to take a 4-0 lead and the win. Wellner’s fourth match was in the consolation finals against Troy Lemke (Ragin’ Raisins). In another low scoring match, Wellner was able to secure a first period takedown for a 2-0 lead. These would be the only points scored for a 2-0 victory and a third place finish, qualifying him for PJW State Championship in Pittsburgh. Wellner would finish the day third overall after a loss for second place.

10U 70lbs

Jaxson Boozer started his day facing Dameyon Massey (ECSD). Boozer scored a quick takedown. In the second period, Boozer turned his opponent to his back, but was unable to keep him there. Finally at the :45 mark of the third, Boozer was able to turn and keep his opponent on his back scoring the pin. Boozer’s second match was against Camden Zdarko (Maplewood). Zdarko scored a quick takedown in the first period that eventually led to a pin with :03 remaining in the period. Boozer’s third match was against another Maplewood opponent Brian Groger. Boozer was able to score a few takedowns along with an escape during the match that led to a 7-1 decision. Boozer’s fourth and final match started and ended with some confusion, which unfortunately resulted in Boozer having his day end with a takedown and a pin at :29 seconds in the first period.

12U 95lbs

Owen Damcott’s first match came against Jack Cunningham (Ramblers). After allowing a takedown in the first period, Damcott was able to escape and nearly secured a last second takedown before running out of time. Damcott locked in a perfect cradle to win by fall at 2:11. In his second match, Damcott faced the eventual first place finisher, Kash Simmons (MYAA Riptide). Simmons took down Damcott with a go behind early in the first and raced to a 9-0 lead with a series of tilts. As time ran out in the first, Simmons secured the victory by fall at 1:30. Moving to consolations, Damcott faced Brayden Lemke (Ragin’ Raisins). Damcott stuffed an early takedown attempt by Lemke and got the early go-behind takedown. Damcott again secured the pin by cradle at the 0:58 mark in round one. Damcott’s final match came against Maximus Kuffer (Edinboro). Damcott scored first with a double leg takedown and was able to get Kuffer into a cradle. Despite holding Kuffer in the cradle for the final 15 seconds of round one, he was unable to obtain near-fall points. In the second period, Kuffer was able to get the reversal and three near fall points. Damcott chose neutral to start the third period where he quickly got a double leg takedown and let Kuffer back up. Damcott quickly shot again, but was unable to get the takedown and fell to a 6-4 decision.

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