HERSHEY There's no denying Tamaqua's Colin Mashack has had an impressive sophomore season.
Besides reaching the state tournament and assuring himself the top medal finish among TIMES NEWS area Class AA wrestlers, the 106-pounder has already put his name high up on the Blue Raider single-season wins list.
After splitting his matches on Friday night, Mashack earned a spot in this afternoon's fifth-place consolation bout at the PIAA State Wrestling Championships here at the Giant Center. He also gained his 40th win of the season a feat only one other Tamaqua wrestler has accomplished.
That other wrestler was Garth Lakitsky, who also reached the 40-win plateau at Hershey. Lakitsky finished with 42 a year ago when he claimed a state championship.
"Colin has worked extremely hard," said Tamaqua head coach Jim McCabe. "He's pretty much vowed to competition all season. We bumped him up to 113 sometimes and we dropped him down to 106 just to get competition.
"Prior to the district tournament, he had wrestled six guys with district, regional and state placements and he only lost one of those matches."
Mashack beat Tri-Valley's Caleb Bordner for the fourth time this year ny posting a 7-3 win in the third round consolations. He then dropped a 6-0 decision to Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick in the fourth round consis.
Patrick (38-2) took Mashack down in the first and second periods where they started neutral. He added a reversal in the third period.
"He's improved the whole season," said McCabe. "He has his mind set and goes to the things he's comfortable with and sticks with those things and doesn't put himself in any bad situations."
In the fifth place medal match, Mashack will have a rematch with Saegertown's Tyler Vath (42-3), who he lost to in overtime by a 7-5 decision in the quarterfinals.
Palmerton's Sam Oberlander and Kane Kralik lost third round consi matches and will wrestle for seventh place medals.
Oberlander was pinned by Bermudian Springs' Matt Farley (42-2) at 120 pounds in 2:10 and will wrestle Oley Valley's Joey Fick (31-6).
Kralik used a 4-2 overtime win in Friday morning's consis over Jacob Krupa of Bedford to move on to the evening round against Matt Mongera (29-6) and lost a 7-1 decision.
The Bombers' 220-pounder will meet Fort Cherry's Greg Kumer (33-5) for seventh.
"We had a lot of close matches out here," said Palmerton head coach Dave Lavin. "Some of them didn't go our way and some did.
"Both of Sam and Kane's opponents here tonight were state runnerups at some point. You just got to wrestle, they tried, and we'll move on from here and try to get that seventh place."
Northern Lehigh's Ty Herzog wrestled Seneca's Joe Hibbler and wound up a 15-2 loser in third round consis.
Herzog and Hibbler banged heads early in the match and the Bulldog 145-pounder never seemed the same after that.
The Northern Lehigh junior will take on Kane's Evan Delong (40-3) for seventh place.
"We came out last year and he kind of got his feet wet and his eyes open about how difficult it is to medal," said Northern Lehigh head coach Todd Herzog. "We're going home with some hardware, but that's not good enough. He's got five minutes left to wrestle yet."
Lehighton's Michael Balliet wound up meeting Tristan Sponseller (47-3) of Bermudian Springs, who he lost to 3-2 at regionals last week, in the 170-pound third round consi.
Balliet jumped out to a 5-3 first period lead and trailed 8-7 entering the final period. The Lehighton senior didn't give up and wound up on the short end of a 10-9 decision when it was all over.
He'll get a rematch with Mount Carmel's Brett Przekop (31-4) who he defeated by a 6-3 decision in the first round.
"When you get out here (to states), all of your opponents are good," said Lehighton head coach Dan Williams. "He didn't give up and was a split second away from having a win."
Balliet will be the first wrestler to medal for Lehighton since Derek Brownmiller in 2006.
Northwestern's Levi Veppert also lost his third round consolation match to Eastern York's Alex Cooley by a 3-2 decision. Veppert led 2-1 and Cooley managed a takedown with two seconds left for the decision at 182 pounds.
Veppert will now get Pen Argyl's Dylan Evans (37-9) for the seventh place medal.
Class 2A action resumes this afternoon with the Parade of Champions at 1:45 followed by third, fifth and seventh place consolations and the finals.