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Both D9 Grapplers Shine in Opening Round of First Girls PIAA Wrestling Tourney; Eight Boys From District Also Advance

HERSHEY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — It’s been a long time coming and many wondered if it would ever happen.

But on Thursday in the Giant Center, girls from across Pennsylvania took to the mats to begin the first-ever PIAA girls wrestling championships.

Two District 9 girls were there to compete and both made strong showings in the first round.

(Pictured above, Punxsutawney’s Jael Miller)

Punxsutawney 170-pounder Jael Miller made quick work of her first foe, pinning Rowan Lewis of Greater Latrobe in just 44 seconds.

Miller, a junior who entered the tournament with a spotless 25-0 record this season with 24 pins, will take on Shannon Fratus of Parkland in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Fratus, a senior, is no 30-7 this season with 14 pins. She is the third-ranked girls wrestler in the satte by

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Miller is the top-ranked wrestler in the Pennyslvania.

Bradford sophomore Shelby Shirley also emerged victorious at 142 pounds, earning a 4-0 decision over Anisa Orr of Penn-Manor.

Shirley is now 9-2 this season with seven pins.

She will take on Sienna Landrum of Downingtown West in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Landrum, a junior, is 32-3 this season and ranked No. 1 at 142 pounds.

On the boys side, the usual suspects advanced to the quarterfinals in Class 2A.

Eight District 9 wrestlers in all moved on, led by Cranberry twins Dalton Wenner and Dane Wenner.

Dalton earned a hard-fought 1-0 decision over Kevin Bagnell on Conwell-Egan to advance at 114 pounds. Dane beat Matt Almedina of Mid Valley, 5-1.

Brookville, Port Allegany and Clearfield are also sending two wrestlers on to the quarterfinals.

Brookville’s Cole Householder (145) earned a 7-3 decision over Rook Smith of Montour and Raider 215-pounder Gavin Hannah won by an 8-0 major decision for to stay in the running for a state title.

For Port Allegany, Aiden Bliss at 172 pounds gutted out a 6-5 win over Alex Hoffman of Milton. Heavyweight Carson Neely had an easier going for the Gators with a 12-2 major decision over Daniel Williams of Glendale.

Neely, who placed fourth last year at the state tournament as a sophomore, is now 43-0 this season with 30 falls.

Brady Collins (152) and Carter Chamberlain (189) advanced for Clearfgield.

Collins pinned Jensen Hockenberry-Folk in 3:41 while Chamberlain won by a 3-1 decision.