Taking down 100 on the mat

Sipes achieves 100th wrestling milestone
Tightening down the win. Junior Luke Sipes grabs the waist of a Hollidaysburg wrestler. Sipes won  the match against Hollidaysburg leading Altoona to victory.
Tightening down the win. Junior Luke Sipes grabs the waist of a Hollidaysburg wrestler. Sipes won the match against Hollidaysburg leading Altoona to victory.
Jaidyn Palladini

On Jan. 26-27, the wrestling team took part in the Ultimate Warrior Tournament at West Branch High School. The team placed 11th out of a total of 44 teams. 

Along with placing in the top 15, junior Luke Sipes achieved his 100th wrestling victory.

“I’m grateful and glad to say I hit the 100-win milestone,” Sipes said. “I always viewed this as a marker along my process, and I’m happy I got it my junior year.”

Sipes began his wrestling career at the age of six.

“I think early success kept me going until I was about nine,” Sipes said. “I remember one day coming out of practice telling my dad, ‘I love wrestling’ after a club practice. From that point forward, I have fallen in love with this game and the process to be the best I can be.”

While finishing the post-season, Sipes plans to continue fine-tuning small details. 

“My plans for the rest of the season are to keep fixing small mistakes in preparation for the post-season,” Sipes said. “I am dialed in. The work is put in and I can’t wait to show my skills this post-season.”

Sipes plans to continue wrestling in the future.

“I’m committed to wrestle at Princeton University,” Sipes said. 

According to Sipes, the beginning of the season had a slower start.

“I’ve gotten stricter and more serious in every aspect of my life since,” Sipes said. “I am beginning to wrestle my best at the most important time. When everything is on the line, I will be ready.”

Head Coach Joel Gilbert was proud of Sipes. 

“He has earned it and is the ninth guy in school history to achieve 100 wins,” Gilbert said. “He is only the second junior to achieve 100 wins but has done it the fastest. The current winning leader is D.J. Hollingshead with 144, and Luke could catch next season if he stays healthy.”

According to Gilbert, Sipes is currently ranked number three in the state in the 152 lb weight class. 

“So far, Luke has had a great season,” Gilbert said. “His record is 26-5. Luke has signed to attend Princeton University on scholarship and wrestle for the Tigers.” 

Gilbert believes that Sipes is a well-rounded young man.

“Luke continues to improve every day socially, academically and athletically,” Gilbert said. “He has matured in all aspects of his life and strives for excellence every day.” 

Former wrestler and Assistant Coach Michael Ciampoli understands how hard the sport of wrestling is. 

“Achieving 100 wins is an amazing accomplishment,” Ciampoli said. “It was nice to see Luke obtain this, knowing how much work and dedication he puts into it.”

Ciampoli states that Sipes has done a great job this season.

“He has wrestled some tough competition this year and has succeeded,” Ciampoli said. “He is continuing to get better with each and every match and looks forward to competing in the post-season.” 

According to Ciampoli, Sipes has high aspirations regarding wrestling at the “next level.”

“His plan is to continue to wrestle at the collegiate level,” Ciampoli said. “Luke is a student of the sport. He is constantly trying to improve his craftsmanship, whether it is staying after practice, lifting or participating in high-level club practices.” 

Sophomore Braiden Weaver thinks of the work ethic that Sipes has towards wrestling. 

“I feel happy for him,” Weaver said. “It’s a big achievement for him. But I know he is going to accomplish bigger things in the future. I think this is him just getting started. Every practice he is drilling hard and working to get better.” 

Weaver’s relationship with Sipes started as neighbors. 

Since me and him (Sipes) were at our first ever practice together at Young Guns or Altoona Beast club, we would go to local tournaments together almost every weekend,” Weaver said. “And now, we are wrestling some of the best people in the country at tournaments and at club practice (M2 Training Center.) Luke and I have been friends forever.”

According to Weaver, Sipes is a prime example of a leader. 

“He doesn’t slack off or take a break,” Weaver said. “He is trying to get better when practice starts to the end. At the meet he gets the team hyped up and ready to go. I think it gives the team motivation to work harder.”  

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Mountain Echo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *