HERSHEY — The spotlight will be on Luke Nichter tonight.
Nichter earned a place in the PIAA Wrestling Championships finals at 160 pounds — and with it the traditional spotlighted Parade of Champions — this evening at Giant Center. He will face his rival, Clayton Ulrey of Lower Dauphin, for the fourth time this season.
The Chambersburg senior took a 6-4 victory over Jack Blumer of Kiski Area in Saturday morning’s semifinals.
“It was a perfectly wrestled match,” Trojan coach Matt Mentzer said. “I felt he was really never in danger for 6 minutes.”
Nichter got on the board first against Blumer with a takedown about 45 seconds into the bout. He put in double underhooks, then dropped to a single-leg attack and finished it.
Blumer escaped before the period ended, but was warned for stalling.
Nichter chose down for the second and eventually broke free. He immediately dove for Blumer’s legs and got both of them, resulting in a reversal and 4-1 lead. Once again, Blumer got out, so it was 4-2 after two.
A quick escape made it 4-3, but with 49 seconds left, Nichter countered a Blumer shot, got into a front headlock, then spun behind for the killer takedown. An escape with 0:07 left made it a 6-4 final.
Mentzer said, “Luke controlled the action on his feet and only gave up the four escapes.”
Nichter (42-5) is a four-time PIAA medal winner. His top finish was as a runner-up in his sophomore season; he also has a fourth (2019) and a sixth (2017).
To get that elusive gold medal, he’ll have to defeat Ulrey (37-2) in the final. Ulrey beat Nichter in the Trojan Wars final, Nichter beat Ulrey 3-1 in the Section III final, and Ulrey prevailed 7-5 two weeks again in the District 3 final.
Ulrey edged Luca Augustine of Waynesburg in his semifinal match, 3-2.