Caleb Clymer saved his best for last.
A dominant force throughout this season and his career, the Northwestern senior turned in a virtuoso performance Saturday at the PIAA Championships.
Clymer was masterful in his 160-pound final against Port Allegany’s Jacob Kallenborn, rolling to an 8-0 major decision victory and his first state title.
Caleb Clymer might not have liked his start. But the Northwestern senior loved the finish.
Clymer shook off a sluggish start to power past Northern Lebanon’s Blaise Bressler 9-7 in the 160-pound final Saturday at the PIAA Class 2A Southeast Regional wrestling tournament. The win gave Clymer his first regional title after runner-up finishes last year and as a freshman.
Caleb Clymer’s objective at the District 11 wrestling tournament was as clear as it was simple.
The Northwestern senior operated with a cool confidence befitting of a wrestler who has been there, done that.
When it was over, Clymer stood atop the podium once again, winning the 160-pound title with a 3-2 decision over Panther Valley’s Tanner Kennedy for this third district title.
Business as usual.
Northwestern wanted another shot at Saucon Valley.
But so did Wilson.
The Warriors got the rematch they wanted by knocking off the Tigers in the semifinals of the District 11 Class 2A team championships on Saturday at Freedom’s McIntyre Gymnasium. The victory avenged a loss to Northwestern in the semifinals of the Colonial League tournament a week earlier.
“Obviously, (losing to Wilson) was a letdown,” said Tigers head coach Jim Moll. “The goal coming in was to be district champs. We felt we could push Saucon and be even closer than we were in the past.
The Tigers finished second in the 9th Annual Coal Cracker Tournament at Panther Valley High School last weekend.
Two Tigers earned gold medals at the meet.
Matt Peters edged Ryan McGuire of Notre Dame (Green Pond) 1-0 in the 132-pound final, while Caleb Clymer topped Scranton’s Jacob Burgette 6-2 for the 160-pound title to give Northwestern two champions.
“It feels good, considering being out two years,” said Peters. “It feels good that I’m back, and I’m wrestling well.”
Northwestern girls soccer head coach Kelly Bleam couldn’t have been prouder of her Northwestern girls soccer team.
She offered a heartfelt sentiment after the Tigers fell 1-0 to St. Basil in the PIAA Class 2A semifinals Tuesday at Upper Perkiomen High School.
“I certainly can’t say enough about the girls’ effort. I’m really proud of them,” Bleam said. “They certainly didn’t walk away saying I didn’t give it my best.
The Northwestern girls have been a staple at the state championship cross country meet in recent years.
But 2016 saw the Tigers fail to send a team to Hershey for the first time since 2010.
After winning the Colonial League title and placing second at the District 11 meet, Northwestern returned to Hershey on Saturday and finished sixth out of 19 Class 2A teams with 212 points.
“That was overall our main goal, was just to get those kids here,” said Northwestern head coach Chris Stitzel. “Today was just a bonus for them to top off a great season that we had.
Molly Tarvin couldn’t help but think about what might have been.
The Northwestern girls second place finish in the Class 2A standings at last week’s District 11 Cross Country Championships might not have been the result the team wanted. But the Tigers still clinched a spot at this weekend’s state meet and improved on last year’s result with their performance.
“We did want that first, we were gunning for that,” said Molly Tarvin, who finished 13th. “But second is better than fourth, which is what we were last year.
The 2016 season was unlike many in recent memory for the Northwestern girls’ cross country team.
The Tigers 134-dual meet winning streak, which spanned six seasons, was snapped. A five-year run as Colonial League champions ended, too.
What a different a year makes. The Tigers returned to championship form and began a new winning streak this season.
Trevor Cunningham couldn’t help but smile when he walked off the track Friday at Shippensburg University.
The Northwestern senior closed out his career with a third place finish in his Class 3A 300-meter hurdle preliminary heat at the PIAA Championships.
“It’s a great feeling to be here,” said Cunningham. “This was my goal from the beginning of the season. It’s a great way to end it, not only the track season, but high school athletics in general. I’m gonna miss it, but it’s a great way to go out.”