HERSHEY – Caleb Clymer has shown his mettle all season.
Dealing with an extremely painful hip injury that has limited his time on the mat for much of the year, the Northwestern sophomore has made the most of the situation by picking his spots.
Clymer navigated the Class AA District 11 tournament, advancing to the 145-pound final, and made it out of the Southeast Regional with a sixth-place finish to qualify for his second straight state tournament.
Caleb Clymer never wrestles alone.
Every time he takes the mat, the Northwestern sophomore carries with him a legacy dotted with greatness.
Clymer’s brothers – Ben, Bobby and Scott – combined to win five District 11 individual championships from 2004-11. Ben and Scott, who finished their careers at Northwestern with a combined 280 wins, were also two-time regional champions and both won state titles.
That success has helped to shape Caleb, both on and off the mat.
Roughly nine hours and four matches after arriving at Freedom High School, Jim Moll could finally relax.
The Northwestern head coach watched his team grind, battle and ultimately prevail against Lehighton, 34-30, in the true second-place match at Saturday’s District 11 Class 2A team wrestling championships to advance to the state tournament.
“It shows a lot of heart,” said Moll. “It shows a lot of character. It shows that they really wanted to be out there (at states) and they wrestled well and got it.”
There were no medals for Northwestern at the end of the PIAA Track and Field Championships. But there was a sense of pride and satisfaction for a remarkable group of athletes that has achieved much success throughout their stellar careers.
The Lady Tigers were well represented in Shippensburg, led by the 1600- and 3200-meter relay teams. Individually, Northwestern had Alexis Gawelko in the 100 hurdles and Natcheli Gomes in the high jump.
On the opening day of the District 11 Track and Field Championships, the quartet of Sabrina Mertz, Sarah Segan, Carly Pierce and Rachelle Cerrone gave a talented Easton team all it could handle in the Class AAA 3200-meter relay but came up just short, finishing with a time of 9:34.38 to the Red Rovers' 9:31.03.
On Wednesday, Northwestern made sure it didn't happen again.
Success came in many forms during last week's Colonial League Track and Field Championships.
For some, it was a place. For others, those triumphant moments presented themselves as a time, distance, height or simply the satisfaction from achieving a personal goal.
But one thing was clear: Northwestern was once again one of the league's top teams after the two days of competition at Whitehall High School.
With the District 11 Track and Field Championships a little over two weeks away, this past Friday's Allentown School District Invitational offered a glimpse of what the postseason might look like for many programs.
Northwestern competed at J. Birney Crum Stadium against a varied field that included schools from the Colonial and Schuylkill Leagues as well as the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and a few programs from outside of District 11.
On Friday, Northwestern head coach Len Smith watched his team suffer its first defeat of the year to Colonial League foe Southern Lehigh.
Monday, Smith witnessed the Tigers play arguably their best game of the season.
Led by pitcher Josh Williamson's no hitter, Northwestern dominated rival Northern Lehigh to earn a 12-0 win in a contest that lasted five innings.
"This was a big bounce back game for us," said Smith. "After losing on Friday, I wasn't sure how we were going to respond to that.
HERSHEY Despite leaving Hershey without any hardware, the Northwestern wrestling team has firmly established itself as a program on the rise.
The fact that four Tigers, all underclassmen, qualified for the PIAA Championships only one year after the team had no representatives in the event speaks volumes about where Northwestern is headed in the years to come.
It wasn't the result he wanted, but it might have been the one he needed.
A week after winning a District 11 Class AA title, Northwestern's Caleb Clymer saw his bid for a Southeast Regional championship come up just short in the 138-pound when he ran into Boiling Springs' Kyle Shoop, who was a state runner-up last year.
Though he suffered an 8-0 loss, the match showed the freshman what he's capable of against the top ranked 138-pound wrestler in the state.