Burrell heavyweight Beattie claims 3rd Class AA Southwest Regional title
Burrell senior heavyweight Al Beattie coughed repeatedly with considerable force as people began to clear Canon-McMillan High School’s gym Saturday night after the completion of the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional wrestling championships.
A cold had burdened him since Wednesday, and yet another title-bout showdown with Southmoreland junior Jacob Beistel made it that much tougher for Beattie to breathe easy.
The three-season series between Beattie (44-1) and Beistel (35-4) continued in the Burrell senior’s favor, as the Bucs heavyweight became a three-time Southwest Region champion with a 7-3 decision.
A four-point margin represented improvement after Beattie defeated Beistel, 2-1, in overtime last week in the WPIAL championships. Beattie also won in overtime when they met in the 2014 WPIAL finals and in the 2014 Westmoreland County Coaches Association championships, and he edged Beistel, 3-0, in the regional title bout a season ago.
“I didn’t want to go into overtime again,” said Beattie, who built a lead early in the match. “I knew I needed to get a takedown in the first period. I had to wrestle like I do in all my matches and not let him dictate what I’m going to hit and not going to hit.”
The top six finishers in each weight class advanced to the PIAA championships, which begin Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
In addition to Beattie, Damon Greenwald (fifth at 152) and Robert Scherer (fifth at 195) qualified for Burrell.
Jefferson-Morgan, South Fayette and Mt. Pleasant led all WPIAL schools with four qualifiers each.
Freshman Gavin Teasdale, Jefferson-Morgan’s 106-pounder, improved to 42-0 with a 3-0 decision over Chestnut Ridge’s Aaron Burkett in the finals.
Burkett took Teasdale to overtime at the Bedford tournament in late January — no opponent has given the Jefferson-Morgan standout a bigger scare this season.
“I knew I had to get my offense going to let me dictate the pace and just not give up any stupid takedowns like I did last time,” Teasdale, who beat Burkett, 7-5, in the first meeting. “We know what each other do, and I just worked from where I started last time.
“I’m not going to be at my full potential every match, but I just have to work harder in the practice room and get a good warmup before all my matches.”
Jefferson-Morgan 120-pounder Brendan Howard (40-6) and 182-pounder Bill Bowlen (34-6), Jeannette 145-pounder Gio Vonne Sanders (31-4), South Fayette 160-pounder J.J. Walker (35-4) and Kittanning 220-pounder Jacob Robb (37-4) lost title bouts.
South Park, meanwhile, left with a pair of second-time champions in 152-pounder Jake Wentzel (36-1) and 170-pounder Greg Bulsak (30-3).
And South Fayette 138-pounder Mike Carr (40-0) remained the WPIAL’s only unbeaten Class AA wrestler other than Teasdale as he added a second regional championship to his collection.
“This feels good, but I want to take it one match at a time,” Carr said of being undefeated. “(The titles) both feel the same. But I’m really more worried about next week.”