Radnor’s Meyers’ record stays clean as he heads for regionals

ROYERSFORD — And now there is one unbeaten Delaware County wrestler.

Tom Meyers of Radnor bounced back from an early deficit to win at 170 pounds in the finals of the District One Class AAA West Tournament Monday at Spring-Ford Area High School.

The triumph flushed away the disappointment of a second-place finish in the districts last year and elevated Meyers to 35-0 in all matches as he prepares for the Southeast Region tournament in Oxford.

Upper Darby’s Joshua Yeboah-Gyasi wasn’t so fortunate. He got caught on his back and was pinned in 5:46, ending his perfect season.

Yeboah-Gyasi’s teammate, Colin Cronin, had a big night and won his first district title with a 3-1 victory over Bryce Reddington of Methacton.

A long afternoon turned into a rough evening for the wrestlers.

It was close to 10 p.m. when Meyers defeated Steve Rice (32-11) of host Spring-Ford, 4-3. Meyers climbed out of a 2-0 hole to gain his first district championship.

“He took me down but I escaped and took him down with like 10 seconds left in the first period,’ Meyers said. “I thought that was a big turning point. It made it 3-2 me. And then I got the choice in the second period and I went bottom and got another point. He escaped and then I just kind of stalled it out the rest of the match in the third.’

Meyers was beaten in the districts last year by a wrestler from Boyertown, which claimed the team championship. Now he’s focused on finishing in the top five regionally and taking the trip to the state tournament. The perfect record is more the means to the end.

“I’m trying to keep that out of my head because that can turn any second,’ Meyers said. “But this feels great.’

Meyers won by major decision over Michael Felix (Upper Perkiomen), securing an 11-3 triumph in the quarterfinals. In the semis he beat Evan Weneck (Pottsgrove) 6-1.

At 220 pounds, Yeboah-Gyasi (27-1) battled Jordan Wood of Boyertown in the final. Yeboah-Gyasi won by technical fall in both the quarters and the semis, defeating Shuajb Nuredini (Methacton) 16-1, 3:50 and Elijah Crew (Strath Haven) 16-0, 4:42, respectively.

Wood pinned Kent Chance (Radnor) in 1:29 and Michael Karas (Conestoga) in 1:01. He grabbed a 4-0 lead in the final and never looked back.

“I put myself on my back,’ Yeboah-Gyasi said. “I only had 30 seconds left and he had my leg. I thought I could maybe jump or turn or whatever. He just had good position on me. This showed me I could compete with the best. He’s crème de la crème. If I want to compete at the top I have to fix my small mistakes and get after it.’

In the 132-pound final, Cronin (33-1) won secured a 3-1 victory over Bryce Reddington of Methacton, an old adversary, if you will, from youth wrestling.

“I kept my head up, thought positive thoughts, felt I would win the match the whole time,’ Cronin said. “This isn’t going to be my biggest accomplishment. I want to win the regionals. I lost in districts last year. I want to get to states this year and make a huge impact.’

Cronin pinned Jonathan Westlake (Spring-Ford) in 19 seconds of their quarterfinal and beat J.T. Cooley (Boyertown), 11-7, to reach the final.

Reddington pinned Noah Strehse (Haverford) in the quarters.

There were some tough finishes in the tourney for Delco wrestlers.

At 106 pounds, Vince Tavani (30-5) of Haverford was beaten, 3-1, in overtime of the final by Jakob Campbell of Boyertown.

“I just couldn’t find my way to neutral,’ Tavani said. “It was 1-1. We both had escapes. I just couldn’t get to neutral. Coming into the finals, I won my semifinal match, 5-1, to the kid I lost to earlier in the year. That was big for me. And so is going to regionals.’

Tavani defeated Luke Resnick (Owen J. Roberts), 1-0, and in the semis beat Brandon Meredith (Spring-Ford) 5-1.

At 120 pounds, Matt Marino (25-6) of Garnet Valley surrendered a 9-4 decision to Ryan Hayes of Owen J. Roberts in the final.

“He was the better wrestler in that match,’ Marino said. “It was closer than the score, I would say. But I definitely think he was the better wrestler in that match. I’ll get another chance against him next week.’

Marino pinned Jarek Svanson (Upper Perkiomen) in 58 seconds in the quarterfinals and registered an 11-3 decision over Derek Gulotta (Owen J. Roberts) to get to the finals. The win over Gulotta, who has been to states, was huge.

Hayes got his championship by beating an all-Central League cast. Hayes won by technical fall over Will Newmiller (Haverford High), 18-2; 2:00, and pinned Zak Elfernani (Marple Newtown) in 2:25 to reach the final.

At 126 pounds, Nick Puliti (22-10) of Garnet Valley surrendered a 6-0 decision to Lucas Miller of Boyertown.

Puliti won’t forget the experience, including his rally in the quarterfinals.

“In my first match I was losing by a point and I came back and I pinned him in the third,’ Puliti said. “The second match, I got a lead.’

Puliti pinned Stone Bissland (Owen J. Roberts) in 5:36 in the quarters and beat Eric Hutchinson (Conestoga), 7-4, in the semis.

At 182 pounds Joe Pyfer (29-3) of Penncrest battled but came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 decision to Greg Harvey (Boyertown).

“I’m not as experienced as all those guys,’ Pyfer said. “I didn’t do enough hand fighting. That’s something I’m going to work on. I don’t hold my head down. Everybody loses at some time. So I’ve got to get better on ankle picks and hand fights.’

In the quarterfinals Pyfer won by technical over Omar Elghawy (Perkiomen Valley), 22-6 and 4:00. In the semis he beat Central League foe Lawrence Alkins (Ridley) 12-5.

Harvey (39-6 update) won by major decision over Brian Kennerly (Upper Darby), 13-4, and beat Zak Taylor (Radnor) 3-2 to reach the final.

Also heading to the regionals, having finished in the top four, is a host of Delco wrestlers.

In a third place bout at 113 pounds, Jacob Mejias of Upper Darby surrendered a 5-3 decision to Ryan Resnick of Owen J. Roberts.

At 120 pounds Derek Gulotta (Owen J. Roberts) pinned Zak Elfernani of (Marple Newtown) in 1:48. Elfernani defeated James Hopkins (Upper Darby), 4-2, in the consolation semis.

There were two all-Delco matches for third place.

In the 152-pound consolation final Pat Rowe (Garnet Valley) defeated David Tustin (Haverford) 9-3.

At 182 pounds Zak Taylor (Radnor) beat Lawrence Alkins (Ridley) 5-4. Both are going to Oxford.

Also going to the regions is Mark Peters (Garnet Valley), who at 160 pounds secured a 2-0 decision over Dylan Wertz (Boyertown).

At 285 pounds, Justin Fremont (Strath Haven) was pinned in 3:08 by Alex Michener (Perkiomen Valley).

Also, Bob Martin of Upper Darby was voted Central League coach of the year by his colleagues.

District One East

A year ago, Interboro’s Eric Thomas advanced to the PIAA Class AAA South East regional as the third-place medal winner. This time around he’s moving on as a champion.

Thomas show why he was the top seed at 138 pounds in the District One East Tournament, winning three matches, one by fall and another by major decision, to advance to Friday’s regional at Oxford High School.

Thomas was one of five county wrestlers to advance out of the East. Elijah Brooks of Glen Mills finished third at 285 pounds, while Chichester’s Chris Smarkola (126) and Dan Sullivan (182) and Abraham Charles of Penn Wood (138) all finished third in their respective weight classes.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the regional.

Thomas (33-2) won an 11-0 major decision in his first match in the tournament, pinned Shane Flanagan of Council Rock South in the semis and then pulled out a 4-3 decision of Eric Mongiello of Pennsbury to win the title.

Brooks defeated Mason Houriet of Pennsbury, 5-3, to take third at 285. Smarkola lost by injury default in the 126-pound third-place bout. Sullivan dropped a 4-0 decision in his third-place match, while Charles fell, 5-1, in his final match of the day.

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