Mercersburg’s wrestling team will have five representatives competing on the second and final day of the Pennsylvania Independent School Wrestling Tournament in the Plantz Courts of Nolde Gymnasium. Hayden Shirk ’24 (145 pounds) and Luke Hendricks ’24 (285) were both unbeaten on the tournament’s opening day February 18, while Alex Forrester ’23 (132), Holden Walker ’23 (170), and Arnav Pallapothu ’23 (195) remain alive in their respective brackets.
Eight wrestlers remain in the brackets of each weight class. The top six at each weight will qualify for the National Prep Tournament February 25–26 in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Shirk and Hendricks have already punched their tickets for National Preps with victories on Friday. Shirk, the No. 2 seed at 145, defeated Omar White-Evans of Western Reserve Academy by a 7-4 decision and will meet Reed Fulmer of Malvern Prep in the championship semifinals. Hendricks is the No. 3 seed at 285 and pinned Devin Swarthout of Westtown School in just 35 seconds to reach the semis. He will face Billy Brosko of The Haverford School in his semifinal.
Forrester fell by decision to Greyson Callow-Sidler of Penn Charter, 8-4, in his first match before pinning Soren Clunk of Westtown in 39 seconds. He will take on Henry Ritts of Hill for a spot at National Preps and a berth in the consolation finals.
Walker and Pallapothu are also just a win away from securing a top-six finish and a National Preps spot. Pallapothu earned a forfeit in his first match before suffering a fall at the hands of William Vandiver of Episcopal Academy (31 seconds); he came back to defeat Matthew Rampe of George School by a 3-0 decision to advance to the consolation round of 8 against Daniel Kaiser of Haverford. Walker took a bye into the championship round of 8 before losing to Isaiah Wright of Malvern Prep (by fall in 1:43). He wrestles Andrew Bukaska of Friends’ Central first on Saturday.
Zeke Wadlington ’23 (182, 1-2), Dylan Stiffler ’24 (152, 1-2), Tommy Quick ’22 (160. 0-2), and Billy Quick ’25 (113, 0-2) also competed on Friday before being eliminated.