Three wrestlers advance to States


Danielle Bardelang

Senior Caleb Fasick waits to compete on Senior Night.

On Feb. 17 and 18, the wrestling team competed at Districts before moving on to Regionals and States. Freshmen Braiden Weaver and sophomore Lucas Sipes moved onto States along with senior Caleb Fasick.

Weaver and Lucas Sipes took gold at regionals,  while Fasick took bronze. At States, Sipes took 7th place at the State Tournament at 152 lbs. and Weaver took 5th place at 107 lbs. 

This wasn’t Weaver’s first time excelling in wrestling. 

“I feel like that was the biggest accomplishment. I still want to win States either this year or next year,” Weaver said. 

Senior Caleb Fasick has gone to States one other time. 

“I made it to the State Championships my tenth grade year; however, last year I was hurt and missed the whole season ,” Fasick said. 

Throughout the days leading up to Districts, coach Joel Gilbert used a tapering system. 

“We do a tapering system, shorter but more intense. We practice for an hour instead of an hour and a half. It gets them prepared better,” Gilbert said. 

Weaver plans to continue wrestling next year. 

“I want to keep practicing. I already know my stuff, so there’s nothing really new I can learn. I have just got to keep working on my stuff, just see how I do,” Weaver said. 

Fasick controls everything he can going into States. 

“I really try to focus on cutting weight. Make sure it goes as well as possible. and I control everything that I can,” Fasick said. 

Fasick expected himself to go onto States. 

“Honestly it’s expected for me [to go to States], I should be here and competing with these guys. I’m on pace with them all year, so I feel pretty good,” Fasick said. 

Going into States, Fasick was excited about competing in the Giant Center for the first time. 

“I’m looking forward to competing in the Giant Center, even though I made States my sophomore year because of COVID-19 it wasn’t held there,” Fasick said. 

Gilbert is proud of the team he had this year and all of their accomplishments.

“I’m really proud of the team this year. We had two state finishers. This is the third time we’ve ever had that. We had Luke Sipes, who broke the single-season win record. 41 wins for Sipes, 39 wins for Weaver, who is second,” Gilbert said. 

Gilbert enjoys teaching the wrestlers things like self discipline they will use for the rest of their lives. 

“[Self discipline] is the most important part as individuals and athletes. It’s nice to see them do what we teach them in the room, like hard work and discipline. It’s things that will stay with them for the rest in their lives,” Gilbert said. 

Fasick plans on becoming a coach after high school and continuing to see his teammates grow into better athletes. 

“I don’t plan to attend college to wrestle. However, I do plan to be an assistant coach here at Altoona starting next year.  Coaching has always been a huge interest of mine, and I have kind of been acting as a coach on the team the last couple years. I am really looking forward to actually being a coach and seeing my current teammates better themselves,” Fasick said.