INDIANA — For Tyler Cymmerman to become a truly great high school wrestler, he may need to be less one-dimensional.
Too often last season, the Derry Area wrestler would cling to a one- or two-point win on his way to fourth-place PIAA medal. On Saturday, he could get a very good opportunity to see just how far he’s come.
Cymmerman was the lone area wrestler to advance to the second day of the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional Championships at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The 126-pounder recorded a technical fall and a major decision on Friday.
“I thought it went well,” said Cymmerman, who improved to 35-4 on the season. “I got to my attack early and just went to work on top. I’ve been practicing that in the room, and it showed in my matches.”
He beat Huntingdon Area’s Caden Reamer, 16-1, in the first round, then put up an even larger point total in his 17-3 victory over Marion Center’s Gavin Stewart in the quarterfinals.
“He wrestled well,” Trojans’ coach Mike Weinell said. “We really wanted to work on top with him.
“He’s been great on his feet. We need to get a top game...getting better riding on top. I love being hammers on top at Derry. We’ve been pushing that.
“He stepped up and did a great job today. That will just give him another asset.”
Cymmerman’s second victory assured him of a spot in the top six at his weight, extending Derry Area’s streak to 26 years with at least one qualifier for the state tournament.
On Saturday, he’ll face Tussey Mountain’s Hunter Horton, who upset Glendale’s Suds Dubler in the quarterfinals.
“It was won in rideout,” Cymmerman said of Horton’s 2-0 win over Dubler. “I’ve got to work to get points, get him tired and go to work.”
A victory over Horton likely would set up a finals match with Forest Hills’ Jackson Arrington, who won the 113-pound state championship last season. While Cymmerman isn’t looking past Horton, he’d welcome a chance to wrestle Arrington.
“I hope,” he said. “That’s my toughest competition in the bracket, the No. 1 seed. I want to face better competition and get better.”
DA’s Colton McCallen lost by fall to Huntingdon Area’s Roland Mills and Bedford Area’s Mat Emerick and was eliminated from the 120-pound bracket.
“McAllen is a senior,” Weinell said. “I feel bad he came up short, but this is the first time he made it here. He did a good job.”
Brayden Mickinac went 0-2 at 195 pounds, losing, 5-1, to District 6 champion Tanner Dluhos of Westmont-Hilltop and 3-0 to North Star’s Bryce Salyers. A knee injury sidelined Mickinac for two months, and he entered the tournament with an 11-4 record.
“He didn’t really have a season,” Weinell said. “For what he ended up doing, I thought he did a great job.
“He’s only a sophomore, so he’s got a lot of big things ahead of him. Next year he can build on this.”
Ligonier Valley’s two qualifiers — brothers Josh and Ryan Harbert — each went 0-2 and were eliminated from competition.
Josh Harbert, a freshman 106-pounder, was pinned by WPIAL (District 7) champion Chase Brandebura of Carlynton and then lost, 11-2, to Micah Hughes of Valley. Josh ends the season with a 25-10 record.
Ryan Harbert lost by fall to Chestnut Ridge’s Kaleb Miller and to Marion Center’s Hunter Armstrong at 132. He ends his sophomore season with a 25-8 mark.
“Young kids,” Rams’ coach Tom Brown said of the brothers. “We definitely saw our areas that we’ve got to improve — not just Josh and Ryan, but that extends to the whole group.
“It was a good experience. They both had great years.”
The Southwest Regional is arguably the toughest in the state and regularly produces the most state champions in Class AA.
“We did know it’s a tough tournament, and they just keep getting tougher,” Brown said. “I think both of the first matches we left some things on the table. The second two, I’m not ever going to doubt the effort, but today they were a little better than us.”
This marks the second consecutive season that Ryan Harbert qualified for the regional tournament.
“Ryan has high goals,” Brown said. “He’s disappointed, no doubt. The only thing you can do is learn from these. ‘What is keeping me from advancing to the next level?’
“There’s got to be a little bit more work, a little bit more strength training. We’ll see how he does in the offseason.”