CANONSBURG, Pa.; March 2, 2024 – It was a historic Saturday for the Thomas Jefferson High School wrestling team as a trio of Jaguars won titles to lead TJ to a second-place finish at the WPIAL Class 3A Wrestling Championships.

The second-place finish and having multiple champions were firsts for Thomas Jefferson in the WPIAL Championships, which were contested at Canon-McMillan High School. The Jaguars placed second with 105.5 points. Connellsville was the 3A winner with 146.5 points and Greater Latrobe was third with 101.

All three of the Jaguars' WPIAL titlists are juniors: Maddox Shaw (139 lbs.), Bode Marlow (160) and Shep Turk (285). Thomas Jefferson was the only school that had multiple WPIAL champions, doing so for the first time in program history. TJ has won at least one WPIAL title in each of the past three tournaments and six of the school's all-time total of 10 since 2019.

Shaw (39-3) pinned Pine-Richland's Dominic Ferraro in 49 second to earn his second consecutive WPIAL crown, becoming the first Jaguar with multiple WPIAL titles. He won all four of his WPIAL bouts by first period fall. Shaw also became TJ's career victories leader with 124 with his WPIAL quarterfinal win on Friday, surpassing Brian Finnerty, who had 121 wins, capped by a 2022 PIAA title at 215 lbs.

"It's an honor," Shaw stated. "I set a lot of goals and this was one of them. I'm thankful for every step; I just want to be the best I can be. This shows the caliber of the guys we have in the (wrestling) room."

Marlow (35-6) delivered his first WPIAL title with an 11-7 victory over Lonzy Vielma of Connellsville. Marlow took a commanding 11-3 lead en route to the crown and had two falls during the tournament.

"I'm grateful to be here," Marlow said. "We work hard in there (wrestling room). It's a good feeling; last year I didn't get what I wanted (at WPIALs). It means a lot. It's kind of cool how you evolve from one year to the next."

Turk (33-7) used a second period escape to take a 1-0 lead and got a third period takedown to defeat Waynesburg's Roan Tustin, 3-0. Turk is the TJ's first WPIAL heavyweight champion and won three of his matches by fall.

"It's a good feeling; I had fun," Turk stated. "That (three TJ champs) feels great; they're two of my best friends."

Zach Labryer took seventh place at 189 lbs. and Brady Fitz was eighth at 172 lbs. for the Jaguars.

"The kids drove it; they set the goals," said TJ coach Michael Ladick. "It feels amazing. This is a testament to our schedule; our guys have been battle-tested. This is what they train for. The only expectation is the match in front of you. I'm appreciative of the support from Cherp (AD Bill Cherpak) and the administration; we have great assistant coaches."

The Jaguars will head to the PIAA Wrestling Championships, March 7-9 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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