|The Hill School’s Nick Flanigan, top, took eighth place in his weight class at the National Prep Championships Saturday at Lehigh. (File photo by Kevin Hoffman/The Mercury)|
By Dennis Weller
BETHLEHEM — The goal for both Johnnie Cherneskie and Nick Flanigan this season was to make it to the National Prep Championships and then place — a task much more difficult than it might sound. First, to make it through a tough state tournament was no easy task. Then to go up against 31 others who also had to earn their way there and finish in the top eight of that elite group was an even more imposing assignment.
But it was one that the two Hill School wrestlers were pleased and proud to have accomplished when the 78th Annual National Prep Championship Tournament came to an end Saturday afternoon at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena.
Post-graduate Cherneskie finished up with a 2-1 win to claim seventh place at 182 pounds in the two-day affair and junior Flanigan placed eighth at 145 pounds after dropping a hard-fought 6-3 decision.
“My first goal was just to place,” said Cherneskie. “To do this is awesome. It was nice to end with a win in what might have been my last wrestling match. It definitely accomplished all my dreams. It’s amazing, just to be here in the top eight, making it to the second day out of 32 who had to win to get here.”