By Frank Dimon
For the Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- For Ty Walter it was difficult to stifle the inevitable yawns after more than fours hours of waiting. With his No. 1 seed at 170 pounds earning him a bye into the quarterfinals at the Top Hat wrestling tournament, Walter simply waited and watched most of his Mifflinburg teammates toil on the hard old Resilite in Williamsport's chilly Magic Dome on Friday night.
When Walter finally began pursuit a tournament championship that has eluded him since he claimed a Top Hat title as freshman, he needed only 41 seconds to get the first victory of his senior season when he pinned Aaron Mowery and earned a slot in this morning's semifinals.
Mifflinburg also advanced Noah Kuba (113), Cole Walter (132), and Nazar Mironenko (285) to the semis.
Central Columbia leads Schuylkill Valley the team race, 86-74.5. The Blue Jays have six wrestlers in the semifinals and seven more alive in the consolations. Mifflinburg is ninth with 51.5.
Kuba need overtime in his opening match to slip past Montoursville's Jake Strassner, 6-4, and then used a cradle for three second-period points that fueled a 7-5 decision over Kaleb Chase of Titusville in the quarters.
Like his brother, Ty, Cole Walter, a returning state medalist, wrestled just one match as the top seed at 132. He racked up four sets of back points in a 16-1 (3:49) technical fall over Jake Watt of Central Mountain in his quarterfinal. Walter will face Ryan Ramich of Schuylkill Valley in the semis today.
Mironenko, a returning state champion, pinned David Gawryla of Bald Eagle Area in 1:41 and will face Devon Ackerman of South Western in the semifinals.
Ty Walter, who will face South Williamsport senior Justin Knee in this morning's semis, placed sixth as a sophomore and lost in the finals a year ago.
"It was a long wait to wrestle and I was exhausted from just sitting here all night," Walter said. "It's important that I win this tournament because people have reminded me that it has been a long time since I won here. Everyone wants me to remember that the last time I won was as a freshman."
Line Mountain's eight-man contingent managed to advance two wrestler in the in the semifinals. Senior Seth Lansberry (145) beat Mifflinburg's Colton Showers 17-2 (2:06) in the preliminary round and then blanked Austin Holloway of Red Lion, 10-0, in the quarters. He gets Central Columbia's Aaron Johnson in the semifinals.
"Seth is a solid competitor and he's had a lot of big-match experience," Line Mountain coach Mike Martz said. "He was in firm control."
Erik Smeltz (182) pinned Jake Verchick of Clearfield in his opening bout and then edged Hughesville's Robert White, 4-2, in the quarterfinals. Smeltz will face Bald Eagle Area's Jake Taylor in the semifinals.
In a big surprise, the Eagles Cameron Newman, a state qualifier last season, was upset in the preliminary round at 113. He dropped an 8-2 decision to South Western's Derek Wilson, surrendering three takedowns.
"(Wilson) wrestled well and took it to (Newman)," Martz said. "We had talked about Cameron getting down to 106 for the tournament and he probably regrets not doing it now."
Newman is still alive after winning his first consolation match, 10-0, over Shawn Karlin of Red Lion.