HERSHEY — A power struggle — a phrase that describes what Shippensburg heavyweight Cameron Tinner and Chandler Olson had to overcome to punch their tickets to states.
During Day 2 of the District 3 Class 3A Individual Wrestling Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center, Tinner and Olson entered the semifinals against some of the best in the state — though, the matchups were each pitted two state contenders against each other.
No. 6 Tinner — now a three-time state qualifier — entered his match Friday at 285 against No. 8 Blaine Yinger, a familiar foe. The two had met previously at the Trojan Wars earlier in the season and both bouts ended in overtime with Tinner taking the victories in both.
For Yinger, he seemed to enter tonight’s match on a mission to exact revenge and get the upset.
He almost did.
Tinner came out with claws at the ready, jumping Yinger and getting a quick takedown to start the bout. Those quick points, however, seemed to give Tinner too much confidence as Yinger began to climb back. An escape, a takedown and a near fall allowed Yinger to take the lead heading into the second period, 5-2, before he took the bottom for another escape.
Down 6-2, Tinner’s finger began to give him problems. Blood time was called multiple times for a wrap continuously falling off, only building the anxiety.
“I can’t blame (the trainers), it wasn’t their fault,” Tinner said in regards to the tape coming off his finger. “I just knew it allowed them to get a break and that’s what gave him an advantage.”
Finally settled, Tinner took the mat again to pull off a quick escape point. As the standoff continued, it was Tinner who took the initiative and lunged at Yinger, grabbing him for a quick takedown before the two fell out of bounds. The crowd erupted as the clock wound down, and when the clock struck zero and Tinner knew he won, he threw his hands up — pumping them a few times to get the Shippensburg crowd going.
“I stuck to the program, I stuck to the point and I knew what had to get done,” Tinner said. “I saw him go for his coaches right away — he needed a drink. I knew he was tired and I looked at my assistant coach and said, ‘We got it.’”
Got it he did.
A 7-6 decision allowed Tinner to move into the final on Saturday, while also punching his ticket to states, as four from each weight class are guaranteed to make the PIAA championships. Going into the final against Central York’s Michael Wolfgram, the mistakes he made in the match against Yinger will need to be fixed.
“I have a tough opponent tomorrow in Wolfrgram and I know not everything is going to go my way all the time, but that was good practice for it,” Tinner said. “I just need to stay off my back. (In this one) I just kept clicking back and clicking back, and I think that’s what helped me win the match.”
Teammate, 126-pounder and now four-time state qualifier Olson also found a way to move forward in a standoff-type match against Central Dauphin’s Jake Cherry.
“I just wanted to go in and wrestle my style, wrestle the way I like to do,” Olson, who is ranked No. 2 in the state, said. “I wasn’t wrestling the tempo like I usually do, I wasn’t really taking my shots and going right for my finishes and stuff. He slowed me down.”
Tied 0-0 after one period, Cherry managed a quick escape to start the second before he and Olson got into a staring match. Starting out the third, Olson, like Tinner, took the initiative and quickly outwitted Cherry, drawing reversal points near the end of the third to go up 2-1 — which ended up being enough for Olson to win.
Now that Olson has put in his bid for states, he has another tough task ahead Saturday in a final against Exeter’s Austin DeSanto, ranked No. 1 in the state.
“I think it’ll be a fun match — Austin likes to move a lot,” Olson said.
Shippensburg’s final wrestler Cole Forester did not make it to a gold medal final, and will instead fight for bronze.
Forrester lost to Big Spring’s Blake Barrick in the 195-pound semifinals to a 3-1 decision, falling to the consolation rounds. A win against Waynesboro’s Seth Egolf (7-5 decision) keeps Forrester’s run alive and also sends him to states.
Three Greyhound wrestlers join a grand total of 18 locals moving into the final day of districts. Cedar Cliff, who leads Cumberland Valley by half a point 94.5-94, sends J.J. Wilson (113, final), Josh McLaughlin (126, third), Emorson Wentz (182, third) and Francis Duggan (220, final) to Day 3. Cumberland Valley moves Patrick DeMark (106, third), Wyatt Long (132, final), Cal Reichart (145, final), Will Kaldes (152, final) and Quentin Milliken (160, third) to Day 3.
Carlisle’s Rafael Portilla (113, third), Northern’s Micah Hoffman (138, third) and Jake Koser (195, third), and Big Spring’s Tucker Brough (145, final), Britain Shields (170, third) and Blake Barrick (195, third) all move on to the final day of 3A competition.
In 2A, Boiling Springs’ Kollin Myers (126, final), Cameron Palmer (145, third), Zack Martin (170, fifth), Austin Taylor (195, final), Nick Kostyak (160, seventh), Jack Coulston (138, seventh) and Damon James (285, fifth), Camp Hill’s Luca Colestock (170, third), Gus LaTorre (138, fifth) and Jacob Coniglio (126, seventh), and Trinity’s Colten Drawbaugh (182, third), Caleb Bentley (120, third) and Maximus McMurray (285, seventh) all made it to the final day.