Exeter’s Brett Kulp and Governor Mifflin’s Jan Johnson led the local wrestling contingent with first place medals at the District 3-AAA Championships held Feb. 21 and 22 in Hershey.
Kulp’s victory in the 106 pound weight class led Exeter to a fifth place finish, while Johnson’s victory at 195 helped Mifflin to 18th place.
For Johnson, it was his second straight district championship, the first Berks wrestler in 16 years to accomplish this feat.
Kulp and Johnson will both advance to the PIAA State Tournament March 6-8 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Joining them will be Kulp’s teammates Ethan Stever, who finished fourth at 145 pounds, and Tristan Watts, who was second at 126.
Kulp started his tournament off with a pin of Chase Mowery of South Western in 1:31. In the quarterfinals, Kulp decisioned Devin Schnupp of Warwick, 5-4.
A 3-2 decision over Zurich Storm of New Oxford in the semifinals sent Kulp to the championship bout where he defeated Connor Sheehan of Solano, 1-0.
Johnson needed just 37 seconds to pin Jake Ciechoski of West York in the first round, then won a 2-1 decision over Rommy Rayhart of Big Spring.
In the semifinals, Johnson was an 8-1 winner over Hasan Alic of Carlisle, then in the title bout, Johnson defeated Dylan Herb of Shippensburg, 3-2 in overtime.
At 126, Watts was a 2-1 winner over Levi Witmer of Spring Grove in the first round, then an 11-6 victor over Wyatt Jennings of Solanco.
In the semifinals, Watts won a 2-1 decision over Dan Grant of Twin Valley, then lost to Rodney Sunday of Dallastown in the championship bout, 17-7.
Stever’s fourth place trek started with a pin of Nolan Poust of New Oxford in 4:49. He then defeated Kenyon Cuka of Waynesboro in the quarterfinals, 8-5.
In the semifinals, Stever was defeated, 5-1 by Chad Wickard of Big Spring. Stever recovered with a wrestle back pin of Adam Peris of JP McCaskey, but then lost in the third place bout to Michael Hartman of Spring Grove, 5-1.
At 113 pounds, Exeter’s Austin DeSanto finished in fifth place, one spot away from qualifying for the state tournament. Keith Miller of Governor Mifflin was sixth at 285.
Zach Sheetz of Governor Mifflin lost his first two bouts at 113 pounds, while teammate Allen Arentz dropped two of his three 120 pound bouts.
Also at 120 pounds, Exeter’s Tyler Bagoly won his first round bout, 6-5 over Victor Kenderdine of Manheim Township. He then lost his quarterfinal round bout, recovered to win his first wrestle back bout before ending his season with a 9-1 loss.
At 138 pounds, Exeter’s Scott Baker won his first bout, 6-1 over Zach Holloway of Susquehannock. He was then pinned by Kody Hart of Solanco in the quarterfinals before winning and losing one in the wrestle back.
Mifflin’s Colin Johnson lost his first two bouts at 138.
At 152, Exeter’s Andrew Bennett lost his first two bouts, as did Christian Fernandez of Daniel Boone.
Mason Hoffman of Daniel Boone lost his first two bouts at 220 pounds.
Keith Miller of Mifflin pinned Cameron Backman of Dover in the first round, then lost 8-0 to Joey Goodhart of Hempfield in the quarterfinals. He fought back with two wrestle back wins, then lost his next two to finish sixth.