NL's Heller to battle for 7th
HERSHEY - Zane Heller was down, but he wasn't done.
The Northern Lehigh junior took on Claysburg-Kimmel junior Ty Dively in the 125 pound quarterfinals of the PIAA State Wrestling Championships on Friday morning, only to have Dively end the bout before Heller could get going, using a half-nelson to register a fall at 1:02.
Knocked into the consolation bracket, Heller was faced with an elimination bout against Line Mountain sophomore Seth Lansberry.
It was win or leave the Giant Center empty-handed, and Heller responded with an 8-5 decision to clinch a medal in his first appearance in the State Meet.
Heller, now 30-7, will wrestle for seventh place this afternoon after dropping a tightly-contested 3-2 decision to Central Cambria junior Ben Rager in the third round of consolations Friday night.
Meanwhile, Northwestern Lehigh senior Bobby Clymer saw his State run and scholastic career come to an end with a pair of setbacks on Friday.
A two-time District 11 champion and reigning Southeast Regional kingpin, Heller knew he had to turn himself around in a hurry after the loss to Dively.
"Coming off that pin, I was really down, because I wanted to medal here," said Heller. "After that, I tried to put myself around people who were positive and told me I could do it."
Heller struck first blood against Lansberry (35-11), and that initial takedown carried him through the rest of the bout.
"That takedown in the first period really gave me confidence," admitted Heller."He took me down, but I got two more takedowns in the third period to seal it up."
Against Rager (36-2), the Southwest Regional runner-up, both grapplers exchanged escapes for a 1-1 deadlock before Rager was able to bear-hug Heller to the mat for the winning takedown with 56 seconds left.
"He (Rager) was real strong, surprisingly strong," noted Heller. "He was definitely stronger than Dively, but not as quick."
Heller will now take on Greensville senior Nate Dias (26-7), the Northwest Regional runner-up, for seventh place.
"It feels good to finally medal," mentioned Heller. "It definitely is not the one I wanted, but I'll take it."
Clymer (32-7) had some big footsteps to fill at States, as his brothers, Scott and Ben, were PIAA champions in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Scott Clymer was a gold medalist at 125 pounds, while Ben was champ at 171.
This was Bobby's first trip to States, and he came into Hershey after winning the D-11 crown and finishing third at the Southeast Regional. He got off to a fast start, blanking Chris Osterberg 6-0 in his preliminary bout.
Friday wasn't as kind to Clymer, as he dropped a 7-3 decision to David Osterberg of District 10 Northwestern in the quarterfinals, then suffered a 16-0 technical fall in 4:41 at the hands of Central Cambria junior Anthony Risaliti in his first consolation bout to end his campaign.
Clymer admitted he did get some advice from his siblings about how to handle the atmosphere at States.
"My brothers told me not to think too much about who I was wrestling - which I did anyway - but to just go out and wrestle my own match."
Clymer, who hopes to continue wrestling in college, feels he achieved a lot during his senior year.
"It was definitely an an accomplishment to be here," he related. "It's not how I wanted to end my season, but it doesn't take away from what I did. Overall, it was a good season for me, and it was a fun four years. It was a great experience to finally get out here."