There was no gold at the end of the rainbow for L-L wrestlers competing in the Penn Manor Holiday wrestling tournament.
In fact, given the mid-evening finish time, one couldn’t see a rainbow even had there was one.
The lion’s share of the gold got loaded on Bethlehem Liberty High School’s bus as the two-time defending team champion Hurricanes lapped the field Saturday in Millersville, winning their fourth title in five years.
Crowning four champions and medaling all 13 wrestlers who competed, Liberty’s 246 points easily bettered second-place New Oxford’s 143 and bettered the ‘Canes 2017 total of 188 points.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said coach Jody Karam, whose team won the Boyertown Duals last weekend. “I liked what I saw.
“We’re really emphasizing scoring points,” he added. “We’re not emphasizing winning, when you’re successful at (scoring) winning takes care of itself.”
The Hurricanes mined gold with repeat champions Tai-Rees Flemming (113) and Matt Maloney (120), Maloney winning his third title to go with a 5th-place finish as a freshman. Connor Werner (106) and Damen Moyer at 195 were first-time champions.
Werner’s title came at the expense of Manheim Township’s Micah Sams. Werner opened a 4-1 lead, then stuck Sams in the second period as the Blue Streak junior was trying to pull Werner over into an arm bar.
Selinsgrove was third, two points behind New Oxford, while the host Comets (134) finished fourth with eight medalists.
Trevor Grassel (126) and TJ Keener (195) placed highest, each taking fourth. Tanner Stefanick was fifth at 120, along with Kole Marley at 160.
Dylan Coleman (138), Chad Mowbray (145), Colt Barley (152), and Cole Shenk (170) all took sixth.
Medaling seven wrestlers, Lampeter-Strasburg (115 points) was seventh as a team.
Tyler Phenegar (220) was fourth for the Pioneers. Connor Penry (170), Logan Davidson (182) and Johnny Franklin (195) placed fifth. Zachary Shelley was sixth at 285 and Hunter Erb was eighth at 113.
Solanco (103 points) was 12th with Chase Charles third at 126, Dominic Flatt (106) and Kyle Morrison (120), fourth and Nick Yannutz sixth at 195.
Garden Spot freshman Garrett Gehr (126) and sophomore Dustin Swanson (220) were the only other local finalists as the Spartans finished 13th.
Gehr fell behind Central York’s Logan Paluch, 4-0, then rallied to 6-2, but got no closer.
“We have high expectations for him, beyond a normal freshman,” Spartans coach Adam Bunting shared.
“He just goes after guys, keeps coming after you, regardless of the score. He has no fear.”
Swanson pinned his way to the finals with three falls in 2:22.
“As a freshman he was pretty good technically,” Bunting said, “but when he came up against older guys, he was overmatched physically. He’s closed that gap.”
But, in the finals, he died by the sword he lived on, caught in a snap, he was pancaked to his back and pinned by defending champion Nate Schon of Selinsgrove, in 12 seconds.
Schon won the award for the most falls in the least time with four in 4:42.
“He’s disappointed,” Bunting said. “He wanted to see where he was at. He’ll use this to motivate himself.”
The Spartans Josh Groff was eighth at 132.
In addition to Sams, Township also placed David Over, seventh at 152, and Charles Leidig, eighth at 160.
Cedar Crest had three medalists as Ryan Scicchitano took 5th at 138, TJ Moore fifth at 220 and Taylor Gehman placed seventh at 126.
In all, five of the eight placewinners at 126 hailed from the L-L League.
Other champions to repeat included Council Rock North’s Luke Lucerne (132), winning his third title.
Methacton’s Kibwe McNair (138), who was voted the Outstanding Wrestler, claimed a wild 9-6 win over Liberty’s Travis Brown at 138 for his second title.
Also winning their second titles were Wilson’s Kolbe Eidle (160) and Central York’s three-time finalist at 285, Michael Wolfgram.
Wolfgram, who won in 2016, reclaimed the crown that got away in 2017.