Ryan Vulakh, Daniel Mancini win state titles

by Brian Rippey, Reading Eagle

Posted on March 10, 2019

Article originally appeared here:
https://www.readingeagle.com/sports/article/wrestling-ryan-vulakh-daniel-mancini-win-state-titles

HERSHEY - Don't be fooled by the calm and cool demeanor Ryan Vulakh displays on the outside.

Even after winning a PIAA Class 2A title Saturday afternoon that capped a perfect season, the Pope John Paul II senior barely cracked a smile, let alone jumped for joy or hugged his coaches.

"He's very neutral in regards to his emotions," said Pope John Paul II coach Tom Hontz. "I think deep down he's pretty happy that he accomplished his goal. I know that was something he always wanted to do."

Owen J. Roberts senior Daniel Mancini made it a Tri-County sweep of 152-pound titles when he captured the 3A gold medal Saturday night.

They were two of five Tri-County wrestlers who received medals at Giant Center on the final day of the PIAA Wrestling Championships.

Also earning medals in Class 3A were Boyertown's Julien Maldonado, eighth at 106, and Owen J. Roberts' Antonio Petrucelli, fifth at 138. In Class 3A, Matt Vulakh of Pope John Paul II placed eighth at 106.

Ryan Vulakh (35-0) turned in a workmanlike effort on his way to becoming the first Golden Panther to win a wrestling gold medal. He had two falls and a technical fall before scoring a technical fall over Trent Schultheis of Freedom Area in the final at 152.

Vulakh racked up a 20-5 lead in 5:10 and was voted the Class 2A Outstanding Wrestler.

It capped a season in which Vulakh won titles at the Beast of the East, Powerade and Escape the Rock tournaments.

"Obviously I was real happy," Vulakh said. "But act like you've been there before."

Mancini (36-3) completed his run through the 3A 152-pound bracket with a 10-2 decision over Cam Connor of Kiski Area. Mancini had a much closer call in the semifinals Saturday morning when he defeated Cole Handlovic of Bethlehem Catholic 2-1.

In the championship bout, Mancini dominated on his feet with three takedowns. He added a nearfall in the third period to pull away.

He became his school's second state champion, joining 1971 winner Don Kulp.

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