HERSHEY – After a disappointing first day of the District 3 3-A wrestling championships a few weeks ago, Susquehannock junior Colby Romjue was determined.
Romjue turned things around to finish third at the district tournament, which secured the Warrior standout a berth into the PIAA 3-A draw.
Thursday evening at the Giant Center, Romjue pulled off perhaps the biggest surprise of any of the 23 York-Adams League wrestlers in the tournament.
After needing just 29 seconds to win his preliminary match against Brett Breidor of Boyertown, Romjue was tasked with taking on Southeast Regional champion Dillon Sheehy of Council Rock North.
The Susquehannock junior did just enough to claim a 5-4 decision.
Romjue, who failed to make the state draw a year ago, will now move on to the quarterfinal round where he will get Northwest Regional champion Ethan Richner of Bellefonte Friday. Richner scored a fall in his first-round victory to move on to the quarterfinals.
Win vs. Sheehy: “I knew that he was stocky, like me, and that he was a counter guy,” Romjue said. “I figured that if I could get the first takedown and force him into taking the first shot, that I would get another.”
That line of thinking played out for Romjue, who earned a takedown after an early scramble. Sheehy, however, was able to score a takedown late in the second period to even the score at 4-4 heading to the third.
After starting the final period in the down position, Romjue was able to earn what turned out to be the match-winning escape. The Warrior middle weight, however, had to fend off a few frantic shots by Sheehy, including one with under six seconds left.
Romjue and the Susquehannock coaches quickly embraced after the triumph. After taking some additional advice from Trimpey in the hallway behind the mat, Romjue shared what his coach provided most before the match was confidence.
“I believe that I can wrestle on the mat better than 90 percent of the people here,” Romjue said. “(Coach) just told me that I’m the best and that I can beat anybody.”
A victory over Richner in the quarterfinals will guarantee Romjue of a medal, although Romjue has his eyes set on more than just earning a medal — he wants the medal.
“If I win (Friday), I’m guaranteed of finishing at least sixth,” he said. “But I’m just going for it.”
Others moving on: Gettysburg’s Dylan Reinert rallied back from a deficit in the third period to claim a 10-9 decision over Connor Quinn of Owen J. Roberts. Reinert will face Northwest Regional champion Trey Kibe of Mifflin County in the quarterfinals.
Both of the Y-A League’s top heavyweights in Central York’s Michael Wolfgram and Dallastown’s Raymond Christas punched their tickets to the quarterfinals. Wolfgram (33-0) was able to secure a second period fall over Quentin Franklin of South Fayette.
Christas, whose only two losses this year were to Wolfgram, needed extra time to earn a 3-2 decision against Mt. Lebanon’s Nathan Hoaglund. After the first and second overtimes were scoreless, Christas was able to earn an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker to advance.
Gold medal dreams dashed: After winning the District 3 title at 220 pounds a few weeks ago, Jamal Brandon found out that no one can be taken lightly at the state event. Brandon was unable to secure any takedowns against Andrew Balukas of Easton and fell by a 7-5 margin.
At 106, Mason Leiphart of Dover was pinned by Julien Maldonado of Boyertown in 1:32. After finishing second at the District 3 3-A meet, Leiphart will have to battle through the consolation bracket in an effort to medal.
At 120, Cole Wilson couldn’t get any offense going in dropping a 13-3 major decision to Cameron Enriquez of Stroudsburg. Like Leiphart, Wilson also was coming off a second-place showing at the District 3 3-A meet.
Spring Grove’s Thomas Dressler, who earned a decision in his preliminary match at 145, fell to Ryan Anderson of Bethlehem Catholic in the first-round. Rocket teammate Anthony Hinson, who recorded a fall in his preliminary victory, dropped an 8-2 decision against Gerrit Nijenhuis of Canon-McMillan at 170.
Gettysburg’s Luke Sainato lost via technical fall to Jagger Condomitti of Northampton in his first-round clash. Condomitti, the No. 2 seed from the Northeast Regional, cruised to a 21-4 victory in 5:21.
Preliminaries: 138: Nicholas Colasurdo (Southern Lehigh) maj. dec. Brooks Gable (Dallastown), 9-1; 145: Thomas Dressler (Spring Grove) dec. Colin Franks (Connellsville), 5-2; 152: Colby Romjue (Susquehannock) pinned Brett Breidor (Boyertown), :29; 160: Anthony Robinson (Williamsport) dec. John Ligon (Dallastown), 7-6; 160 - Patrick O'Neill (North Penn) maj. dec. Ethan Baney (South Western), 10-1; 170: Anthony Hinson (Spring Grove) pinned Chase Smith (Spring Ford), 5:54; 170: Andrew DiBernardo (West Chester East) pinned Tanner Schaller (Central York), 3:00.
First round: 106: Julien Maldonado (Boyertown) pinned Mason Leiphart (Dover), 1:32; 120: Cameron Enriquez (Stroudsburg) maj. dec. Cole Wilson (Northeastern), 13-3; 145: Ryan Anderson (Bethlehem Catholic) dec. Thomas Dressler (Spring Grove), 12-4; 145: Jagger Condomitti (Northampton) tech. fall Luke Sainato (Gettysburg), 21-4 (5:21); 152: Colby Romjue (Susquehannock) dec. Dillon Sheehy (Council Rock North), 5-4; 160: Dylan Reinert (Gettysburg) dec. Connor Quinn (Owen J. Roberts), 10-9; 170: Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan) dec. Anthony Hinson (Spring Grove), 8-2; 220: Andrew Balukas (Easton) dec. Jamal Brandon (Dallastown), 7-5; 285: Raymond Christas (Dallastown) dec. Nathan Hoaglund (Mt. Lebanon), 3-2 (OT3); 285: Michael Wolfgram (Central York) pinned Quentin Franklin (South Fayette), 2:31.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.