HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — The 2023 PIAA State Wrestling Tournament has begun at the Giant Center in Hershey. There are 520 wrestlers who qualified for the season-culminating event, 75 wrestlers are from the Midstate.
These are live updates from inside the Giant Center from the PIAA and the abc27 Sports team.
Wrestlers to watch
Northern Lebanon’s Aaron Seidel
The undefeated 107-lbs wrestler has stunned the competition in his sophomore season, posting a 44-0 record headed into the PIAA State Wrestling Tournament. As the South Central Champion, Seidel is the top-seeded wrestler at 107 in the PIAA 2A bracket.
Central Dauphin Wrestlers look for redemption
There’s no better feeling than winning a state championship. There’s also none worse than losing it. That’s what happened to Central Dauphin wrestlers Matt Repos and Ryan Garvick. Both fell in the state title match a season ago.
“It sucked but it was a good feeling knowing that I was that close and this is the year I do it,” said Repos, a senior on the Rams wrestling team.
Now it’s time for redemption for the pair.
“I hope it happens,” said Repos, who wrestles in the 145-pound weight class. “He’s a junior and got one more year but if we both won it this year that would mean everything”
And they are well on their way to reaching that goal. Repos won his 4th district title, becoming the 19th wrestler in PIAA District lll history to ever achieve that feat. Garvick, a junior, is right behind Repos. He’s won the last two district crowns, competing last year at 160 pounds and this year at 152.
Northwestern’s Sierra Chielsa becomes first girl in tournament history
The PIAA has held a state wrestling tournament for 86 years, and 2023 will make history. Northwestern’s Sierra Chielsa is the first girl to qualify for the tournament in Pennsylvania history. The sophomore wrestles in the 107 division in 2A.
Riley Robell looks for back-to-back titles
Bishop McDevitt’s Riley Robell is carrying momentum into states after notching his 100th career pin to win the 2A District III title. Robell is just the second wrestling state champion in school history. The first, Cole Nye, was a two time champion, winning in 2016 and 2017. He knows back to back state titles will cement his legacy.
“That’s kind of like a perfect ending to a very long high school book,” Robell said. “Obviously that’s going to be the end goal for me and after I kind of cement that one down I can turn all of my focuses onto the future and the lifting and everything like that.”
The senior, a standout offensive lineman for the Crusaders football team with the 2022 Mr. PA Football Lineman Award already under his belt, will play football at James Madison next fall. His unique blend of size and strength makes him such a tough match on the mat.
The PIAA State Wrestling Tournament is split up between 2A and 3A. The tournament is held at Giant Center in Hershey from Thursday, March 9 through Saturday, March 11.