Jared Keslar felt his youth would hinder him from excelling in The Surge.
This was the same kid that joked the day before the tournament he was ready to be in the finals.
Well, the freshman from Connellsville surpassed his own expectations and claimed the 126-pound crown.
“I didn’t expect to do much since I was a freshman,” Keslar said. “Once I got through that first match, and I made opponents wrestle my match. I felt a little bit better.”
Keslar, who came in unseeded, had a second-round match with the No. 2 seed in Southern Columbia’s Patrick Edmondson.
To Keslar, it didn’t matter who he wrestled, he was just going to wrestle his match.
He topped the sixth-place state finisher in Edmondson 12-5. Keslar rode that momentum into his 7-0 quarterfinals’ victory over Hamburg’s Dalton Gimbor, who is a state qualifier.
In the semifinals, Keslar took on the No. 3 seed in Brockway’s Anthony Glasl. Keslar moved the junior around and ended up topping him 8-3.
Keslar had to get through one more junior in Council Rock North’s Luke Lucerne, who is a two-time state qualifier and the No. 1 seed. Keslar ended up throwing Lucerne to his back and pinning him in 4:19 to put an exclamation point on the title run.
“A lot actually,” said Keslar, when asked about how much confidence this gives him going into the season. “I’m excited to win this.”
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