Brett, Hartranft hoping for long runs in postseason
Austin Brett and Jaryn Hartranft both realize what is ahead and believe they are taking the right path to get there.
Brett and Hartranft both share at least once incentive – they were district runners-up at the respective weights last season.
Brett, a junior, will enter the PIAA District 11 individual championships in two weeks with an overall 24-9 record at 120 pounds, and Hartranft, a sophomore, will bring a 29-3 mark at 113 pounds. Hartranft wrestled at 106 pounds last season.
“I’ve been preparing for districts and feeling pretty good,” said Brett. “We have been practicing a lot and going at it hard to get the results we want in districts. I feel good at this point and I’m healthy.”
Hartranft has been reflecting and working to build his endurance.
“Physically, I have been resting up,” he said. “I learned a lot about the postseason from my freshman year, so I am resting a little right now. But about a week away, I’ll start ramping up my workouts. Mentally, I feel confident.”
Brett and Hartranft also knew they would have to endure some rough spots along the way.
“My coaches definitely have pushed me and knew my capabilities,” said Brett. “The toughest stretch for me was at the beginning of the season and into the middle of it. I was up at 126 and every match was a battle and ended up taking some tough losses. I went down to 122 and felt stronger at that weight.
“It’s not hard to stay focused especially now,” added Hartranft. “The toughest stretch was the past two weeks. We had Berwick, Coal Cracker, and then districts. We wrestled a lot, so keeping my weight down during that time was hard.”
Getting to states has been a lifelong goal for both grapplers, who both have grown with the sport.
“I started at a very young age like three or four, and I would always lose because I was so small and very kid weighed more than me,” said Brett. “But my parents kept me in it, and I started liking it. I have stuck with it since.
“I started as a first grader,” added Hartranft. “One day, one of my friends was wrestling with me. I went home and begged my mom to wrestle. I immediately was hooked. I love the sport and am so proud how far I’ve come since then.”
Head coach Joe Russo has high expectations for the duo, mainly due to their work ethic and determination.
“They are working hard to prepare for this postseason run,” stressed Russo. “Both of these guys have been rolling.
“Jaryn (Hartranft) only has three losses and two of them came against state-ranked wrestlers in the Coal Cracker a few weeks ago. Austin (Brett) has knocked off some guys who will stand in his way come districts.
“Both should qualify for regionals, and then we will go from there. We hope to add a few more guys with them at regionals and make it a memorable end to our season.”
Brett and Hartranft also are ready to take the next step at regionals and beyond.
“My goal is to make it to states and that makes me work harder every day because I am the only one who can change that,” said Brett.
“I think I can wrestle to my capabilities and get to states and place,” said Hartranft. “I have been wrestling for 10 years for this, and hopefully, a state medal. It means a lot to me to stay focused.”