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Valley Sports Report
TUNKHANNOCK — Members of the Athens youth wrestling team competed at the PJW Area XII state qualifying tournament here and six qualified for the PJW State Championships in Pittsburgh.

Sophia Barrett led the way for the Wildcats as she captured the Girls 10U 70-pound title. Barrett won her finals match against Wallenpaupack's Jae Swanick by fall at the 2:45 mark.

Barrett will be making the return trip to PJW States, hoping to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish in the same 10U 70-pound weight class.

Jacob Cobb (10U 85 pounds) and Kruze Payne (10U 95 pounds) both started the day 2-0 winning quarter-final and semi-final bouts, before coming up short in their respective finals. Payne is a returning PJW state qualifier, while Cobb will be making his first trip to Pittsburgh.

Beau Hall (10U heavyweight), Liam Warner (12U 70 pounds), and Ned MacBride (12U 125 pounds) all battled back to third-place finishes, earning the final qualifying spots in their weight classes.

Hall and Warner both overcame tough early-round losses, but wrestled back to secure third place.  MacBride reached the semifinals before losing, but bounced back with two consolations-round wins to capture third place.  

Hall and Warner are returning PJW qualifiers, while MacBride will make his first trip to states, in only his second year competing in the sport.

"Overall, the kids wrestled great ... and for a second year in row, we are sending 6 kids to PJW States, which speaks volumes about the program, coaches, and kids,” said Travis Bennett.

“Sophia Barrett is one of the toughest girls in the state in her weight class,” he noted. “Kruze, Liam, and Beau all qualified for a second year in a row and are hungry for some hardware next month.

“Jacob Cobb and Ned MacBride both showed up with peak performances after months of hard training and get to make their PJW debuts,” added Bennett.

The PJW Youth State Championships will be held at the Petersen Center at the University of Pittsburgh on March 23-24th

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