ALTOONA — For Kamdyn Williams, it was a super day at the Super Regional.
Williams won the 113-pound PIAA Class 3A West Super Regional championship Saturday at Altoona High School, defeating 2020 106-pound state champion Vince Kilkeary of Greater Latrobe, 9-7.
Williams, his twin brother Kaedyn and Solanco's Dom Flatt all advanced to Saturday's PIAA Class 3A state championship at Hershey's Giant Center. Flatt placed second at 106, Kaedyn Williams third at 106.
In a career that has seen him garner accolades at the junior high level, including PJW State Championships in both Freestyle and Greco, it is the latest signature victory for Kamdyn Williams, who has defeated three state finalists, two state runners-up and a champion, in the past seven days.
"I went out there thinking I was going to win," said Williams, who bested Jacob Van Dee of Erie Prep, the 2020 runner-up at 106, in the semifinals. "That's just the mindset I have. I knew it was going to be a tough match, but I trusted my ability."
Kilkeary, long established as dangerous on his feet, met his match in Williams, who opened the scoring with a single-and-lift, bringing Kilkeary to the mat.
"That definitely put it in my head that I could win the match," Williams said
Sticking Kilkeary's roll attempt for two back points made that even more apparent and he quickly escaped off Kilkeary's reversal to close a high-scoring first period with a 5-2 advantage.
It became 7-2 as he turned Kilkeary with a claw-and-wrist ride to open the second period. Kilkeary closed to 8-5 by the end of the period.
Williams' escape made it 9-5 in the third and, in the final 40 seconds Williams defended Kilkeary's headlock try at the edge and gator roll, before surrendering a meaningless takedown at the end.
"I knew I'm better upper-body than him," Williams said. "That's my favorite position. He has a headlock, he usually pins everybody with that, but he's not going to headlock me."
Williams crushed Troy Hohman of Penn Trafford, 16-5 to begin the day, then he turned back Van Dee, 7-3. Van Dee led 3-0 early, but as the second period waned Van Dee locked up upper-body.
"He tried to throw me and I stuck him to his back, got five (points)," Williams said.
Picking up a late reversal, Williams clinched the win.
Flatt breezed into the final with a 6-3 victory over Antonio Walker of Plum and 6-1 over Cael Nasdeo of Williamsport. Facing Seneca Valley's Tyler Chappell for the title, they went into the final 20 seconds of regulation tied 1-1 when the tide turned.
"He went in for a shot, like a knee pick, and I shrugged him," Flatt said. "He dropped right to my ankle, I went to whizzer. He was stronger and he picked it straight up. I tried to turn behind and he caught both my legs."
The takedown, coming with 10 seconds left, came too late for Flatt to recover, just in time for Chappell.
"Next week, if we rematch, it won't be like that," Flatt said. "I pictured myself on the top (of the podium). Next week will be my No. 1 best tournament."
Chappell slipped by Kaedyn Williams in the semifinals, 2-1, defusing Williams’ neutral offense and scoring a reversal midway through the second period. Williams escaped in the third, but was unable to draw closer.
Williams had defeated Logan Sallott of McDowell 10-5 in the quarterfinals, then posted a pair of 2-1 wins in the consolations — beating Andrew Binni of Canon-McMillan to secure a berth in states, and Nasdeo to lock up the bronze medal.
Manheim Township's Aliazer Alicea (126) placed fifth, while the Blue Streaks' Josh Hillard (120) and Garden Spot's Garrett Gehr (132) were sixth. Lebanon's Griffin Gonzalez did not place at 132.
After opening with a 3-0 win over State College's Owen Woolcott, Alicea was majored in the semis by eventual champion Carter Dibert. A 5-3 blood round loss to 2020 state champion Ethan Berginc of Hempfield Area denied Alicea a return to Hershey, but he salved the day by defeating Woolcott once more, 8-4.
Hillard dropped a 6-3 nod to North Allegheney's Dylan Coy in the quarterfinals. Following a 12-3 major decision over Altoona's Caleb Fasick, Hillard was denied a late takedown that would've sent his consolation semifinal with Chad Ozias of Connellsville to overtime. Instead, Ozias claimed a 4-2 win. Wrestling for fifth, Hillard met Coy once more, with Coy prevailing once again, this time 3-0.
Following a first-round fall to eventual champion Dylan Chappell, Gehr wrestled back to the consolation semis, but a pair of losses dropped him to sixth.
Saturday's afternoon session — covering 145 through 285 — was unkind to a quintet of local wrestlers, swept from the quarterfinal round.
Only two, Octorara's Mike Trainor and Penn Manor's Colt Barley, avoided the fate of exiting on back-to-back losses.
And only Barley secured a spot next weekend at states, as a fourth-place finisher. His spot was assured, on a walkover, at 189 as his consolation semifinal opponent, Carson Manville of State College, was banished from the tournament for flagrant misconduct in the championship semifinals.
For his part, Trainor wrestled back to place sixth at 145.
Eventual champion Ethan Rossman of Bellefonte knocked Barley from the championship bracket at 189 with an 8-1 victory. Barley blasted his consolation quarterfinal wide open with a six-point third period, cementing an 8-1 victory over Isaiah Auman of Cedar Cliff.
In the bronze-medal match, Hampton's Justin Hart cradled Barley twice, off the whistle at the start of the second period and again, from neutral as the period wound down. The second time was fatal as Hart secured the fall at 2:46.
Drawing returning state champion Wyatt Henson of Waynesburg Central in the opening round, Trainor lost on a technical fall, 17-1, in 4:56. He made a second-period escape stand up in a 1-0 victory over Kyler Everly of Mifflin County, riding Everly out in the third period. Williamsport's Riley Bower denied Trainor in the blood round, 6-1.
Wrestling for fifth, Trainor lost 3-0 to Central Dauphin's Ryan Garvick. It was Garvick's second decision over Trainor in as many weeks; he won 7-2 in the quarterfinals of districts.
Hempfield's Reagan Lefevre could not unlock his bottom offense at 145, dropping a 1-0 nod to Norwin's John Altieri in the quarterfinals, then falling 2-0 to Ty Linsenbigler of Hempfield Area in the consolations. Altieri went on to take the title, the hard way, winning on a slam when Wyatt Henson brought him down on his neck, 43 seconds into the match.
In the quarterfinal at 152, Manheim Township's Kevin Olivarria was outmatched by Seneca Valley's Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, who built a 14-0 lead through four minutes. Countering Olivarria's best shot of the match, at the start of the third period, Herrera-Rondon spladled Olivarria to a fall in 4:25 and went on to win the title.
Olivarria's second-period takedown was the only takedown in his consolation with Williamsports's Roman Morrone. Unfortunately, he couldn't duplicate it and lost 4-2 in the tiebreak when Morrone reversed him.
Pinned by returning state runner-up Isaiah Vance of Hempfield Area in the quarters, Dustin Swanson surrendered a pair of third-period takedowns in a 5-2 wrestleback loss to Oliver Billotte of Clearfield.