Archive for April, 2015

FloNationals Results: Hidlay Wins Championship; Stewart is 7th

| April 3, 2015 | 0 Comments
Hayden Hidlay with his 145-pound title belt at FloNationals.

Hayden Hidlay with his 145-pound title belt at FloNationals.

Mifflin County’s own Hayden Hidlay added to his impressive trophy case by winning the 145-pound championship at FloNationals on the campus of IUP on Saturday.

Hidlay went 5-0 at the event, scoring two falls, two sudden victory wins, A 3-2 decision and a 7-6 win over Austin Kraisser of Maryland in the finals.

Teammate Noah Stewart came in seventh at 160-pounds with a 7-0 win over Gabe Koontz of Indiana.

Noah Myers (120), Trent Hidlay (145) and Trey Hartsock (195) competed but failed to place.

Quarterfinals

145: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County dec. Jesse Porter, New York, 3-2.

Consolation-Third Round

195: Trey Hartsock, Mifflin County dec. Nick McShea, New York, 4-2.

Consolation-Fourth Round

195: Isaiah Margheim, Ohio pinned Trey Hartsock, Mifflin County, 1:49. (Hartsock eliminated)

Consolation – Fifth Round

160: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County dec. Kyle McMahon, New Jersey, 7-0.

Consolation-Sixth Round

160: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County dec. Sam Rowell, Maryland, 2-0 SV.

Consolation-Seventh Round

160: Tucker Leavitt, Idaho dec. Noah Stewart, Mifflin County, 8-2.

Semifinals

145: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County dec. Kyle Lawson, Ohio, 4-2 SV.

Finals

145: Hayden Hidlay dec. Austin Kraisser, Maryland, 7-6.

7th Place

160: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County dec. Gabe Koontz, Indiana, 7-0.

FloNationals: Hayden Hidlay in Quarters; Stewart, Hartsock Alive in Consolations

| April 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

First Round

120: Ethan Woods, Michigan major dec. Noah Myers, Mifflin County, 9-0.
145: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County, bye.
145: Trent Hidlay, Mifflin County major dec. Kyle Elliott, West Virginia, 14-2.
160: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County, bye.
195: Trey Hartsock, Mifflin County pinned Jamal Beydoun, Michigan, 1:09.

Second Round

145: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County pinned Bryce Rogers, Florida, 4:00.
145: Isaiah Hokit, California dec. Trent Hidlay, Mifflin County, 2-1 TB.
160: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County dec. Michael Battista, Virginia, 7-2.
195: Wyatt Koelling, Utah major dec. Trey Hartsock, Mifflin County, 11-2.

Third Round

145: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County pinned Trevor Marable, Virginia, 1:40.
160: Gabe Koontz, Indiana dec. Noah Stewart, Mifflin County, 6-3.

Consolation-First Round

120: Noah Myers, Mifflin County, bye.

Consolation-Second Round

120: Noah Myers, Mifflin County dec. Mike Farkas, Ohio, 9-2.
195: Trey Hartsock, Mifflin County dec. Erik Hobbs, Indiana, 8-1.

Consolaton-Third Round

120: Brock Hudkins, Indiana dec. Noah Myers, Mifflin County, 7-2. (Myers eliminated)
145: Jonathan Ross, Pennsylvania dec. Trent Hidlay, Mifflin County, 8-0. (Hidlay eliminated)
195: Trey Hartsock, Mifflin County vs. Nick McShea, New York.

Consolation-Fourth Round

160: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County pinned Anthony Solis, Maryland, :58.

Consolation-Fifth Round

160: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County vs. Kyle McMahon, New Jersey.

Quarterfinals

145: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County vs. Jesse Porter, New York.

Loht Caps off Great College Career

| April 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

Decisions, even the smallest of ones, can shape your entire destiny and change the track of your life.

When Kaleb Loht decided to continue his wrestling career and further his education at Messiah College, the Indian Valley standout had no idea the impact he would have on the Falcons program.

Four years after committing to the Christian-based school in Grantham, Loht ends his career as the all-time wins leader in Messiah history with 159. He also leaves as a 2014 NCAA Division III National champion and a third-place finisher as a senior.

“I sent him some letters which I do to those that qualify for states in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and surrounding states,” Messiah coach Bryan Brunk said. “I didn’t know anything about him at first. He came to an open house. He’s such a quiet kid. I joke and say he didn’t start speaking until his senior season. I didn’t learn much about him until he got here. We went after him because he was a three-time state qualifier and he placed his senior year. We went after him for his talent. We didn’t discover his work ethic and leadership ability until later.”

Loht was a three-time state qualifier and a sixth-place finisher his senior season at Indian Valley where he was 97-17 for his career. The decision to go to Messiah was an easy one.

“It definitely gives you the opportunity to get an education and doing the sport you love. A couple guys from Division I transferred here to Division III. It is an option where you can compete at a high level and continue with academics,” Loht said. “From a wrestling perspective my transformation from freshman to senior year is amazing. I was a decent wrestler in high school but learned so much more in college with technique and other things. It’s a brand new ball game when you get to college.

“We always talk about where we come from and the people who came before us. Me being the start of that is nice, I was the first place winner in PA to come to Messiah. That allowed other place winners to see they can come here and be successful. That’s what we need to make Messiah a dynasty and it’s only going to get better from there.”

According to Brunk, making Messiah a traditional top 10 power started with the recruitment of Loht.

“Kaleb is probably my first real blue chip recruit who was successful right away as a freshman. He had a lot of success the first two years, but came up a little short of his goals. To become a national champion as a junior, to finish third this year, I can’t say enough about what he’s meant to us,” Brunk said. “He’s changed how people look at us as a team in the wrestling world. We’ve become a top 10 team the last two years and are relevant on the national scene. Part of that credit belongs to Kaleb.

“Individually, his work ethic is impeccable. He’s the strong silent type. He’s not a real vocal leader. He leads by example. This past offseason he came to me and asked if I could move the freshmen to a different dorm so they could be near the seniors and build more team unity. He helps lead in a lot of ways like that.”

Loht’s success has translated into better recruits coming the Falcons’ way. Individuals like Lucas Malmberg, a two-time New York state champion and D-III runner-up this year, and Ben Swarr and Kyle Koser, who made the Division III All-Freshmen Team.

“His success has been immense for recruiting. Pennsylvania is the best wrestling in the country and getting a guy like Kaleb has done wonders for the program,” Brunk said. “Now we have a kid like Kaleb who is a state placer and succeeds at the national level. Now we can say we have guys on our team who are place winners or state champions. We can say now that this is what you can truly do when you come here. It’s a snowball effect and Kaleb was the first part of that snow ball to get it rolling.”

Loht did not come in with aspirations of national titles his freshman year. It took the encouragement of Brunk and an injury his sophomore season to make him realize he had the skills to be a champion at the collegiate level.

“I remember my first meeting with coach Brunk and he said what are your goals for freshman year and I said to be .500. He said you should be thinking about being an All-American,” Loht said. “Not going to nationals as a freshman made me motivated to be a national champion. I used it for fuel to get better and better. I was injured my sophomore year, but the kid who dislocated my elbow made it to national finals and that made me realize that I could win it.”

After going 38-6 as a freshman and 31-5 as a sophomore, the McClure native put everything together in a magical junior year that saw him put up a 48-1 mark on his way to the national championship.

“It was a great moment in my life. All the hard work you put in to get to that level and then to win it was something I’ll never forget,” Loht said.

The stress a defending champion faces and the gremlin of over-confidence creeped up on Loht during his just concluded senior season. He needed to go back to the drawing board and refocus his energies on his performance and his faith.

“The pressure of trying to repeat is very intense. Everybody gives you their best so you have to put that aside and just do what you do,” Loht remarked. “I focused on what I did my junior year and tried to bring that in my senior year. In II Corinthians it says have confidence in Christ not in yourself because you can become arrogant, I am confident in wrestling because it is a gift he gave me and he can take it away. That refocused me.”

Despite coming up short in his bid for a second national title, Loht had an amazing career at Messiah and now wants to focus on teaching and coaching. Coach Brunk is big believer in Loht getting into the coaching side of the sport.
“I think he would be an amazing coach. I think a ton of him. He’s a physical education major and he has applied to different schools,” Brunk said. “He could end up being my son’s elementary coach and I would love it. Whoever lands him will be lucky to get him. His work ethic and character are equal to his wrestling ability.”

Loht proves beyond a shadow of a doubt what you can accomplish with faith, hard work and passion. Now he will transition into the next phase of his life with these traits ready to bring him even more success.

“My major goes along with being a coach. I would like to get a coaching and teaching job. I want to give back to the sport that’s done so much for me,” he said. “Hopefully, it can change somebody else’s life like it did mine.”

Kaleb Loht left an indelible mark on Messiah wrestling that will never be forgotten and it all came about because of one smart decision.