May 9, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV

The United World Wrestling Junior Nationals were held this past weekend in Las Vegas, NV and competing at 60kg for the PWC was Luke Pletcher.  During the first day of competition, Luke rolled through his opponents with two technical falls and a 4-2 decision putting him into the semifinals Saturday morning.

In the semis, Pletcher fell to Mitch McKee of Minnesota, whose freestyle experience showed when he scored on multiple gut wrenches to end the match 11-1.  After falling to the consolation bracket Luke lost on a last second exposure to Josh Terao Freshman, American University.

In the placing round, Pletcher faced off against William Erneste of Missouri, where he was able to come out on top 13-8 to take 5th place.   This placement qualifies him for the UWW Junior Trials which will be held in Madison, WI, June 11-13.

Competing in the Veterans Nationals for the PWC was Valley High School Principal and former Pitt wrestler Jon Banko.  Banko competed in C division of both the Freestyle and Greco Nationals at 76kg.  After falling to the eventual champion in the semifinals of the Greco tournament, Banko battled back with technical falls over Chuck Jacobs and Jose Calero to claim 3rd place.  The freestyle competition was held on day two where Banko once again found himself in the semifinals by way of a 12-1 technical fall. He came up just short losing by criteria 6-6, then 11-8 in the consolation round to knock him out of the tournament.

Also Competing in Las Vegas was former Pitt National Champion, Keith Gavin.  After four consecutive victories, Gavin made his way into the US Open finals.  In the finals he faced a familiar opponent, Pittsburgh native, Jake Herbert.  Herbert was able to come out on top over Gavin 5-2, as they finished first and second respectively.