MILL HALL - Going into the 2013 King of the Mountain Wrestling Tournament, Mifflin County's Hayden Hidlay was on a mission.
After Saturday's semifinal and championship rounds, consider Hidlay's mission completed.
One year ago, the Mifflin County 113-pounder dropped a tough one-point decision to defending PIAA state champion Ethan Lizak of Parkland. Following that bout one year ago, Hidlay felt that for him, it was one that got away.
This year, now competing at 138 pounds, Hidlay breezed to the title, leaving no doubt about who the best wrestler was at his weight class as well as one of the better wrestlers in the entire tournament.
After advancing to the semifinals with a pair of technical falls and a 13-0 decision, Hidlay continued his dominant wrestling with a 6-2 decision over Joey Alessandro of Hempfield before claiming his title with a fall in 2:19 over Mikey Labriola of Bethlehem Catholic.
"When I saw who the people were in the bracket I just wanted to come in here and dominate," Hidlay said. "My motivation to dominate was because I wanted to send a message to my next roadblock in future matches. I wanted to show that I am ready to go and it doesn't matter what weight I am wrestling at, I'll be fine."
As for the big jump in weight classes, Hidlay says it hasn't been a problem for him.
"I had a really great off-season," he said. "I lifted a lot and originally I had planned to wrestle 132 or even 126. But as soon as I started wrestling around, I knew I could wrestle anywhere I wanted to. I feel that I am good enough to complete with anybody so that is why I chose 138. I feel really healthy, I didn't have to cut any weight and it really felt nice not to have to deal with the weight situation."
Although the season is young, Hidlay has another mission in mind for the 2013-14 season. He wants to leave the scene of the regional tournament and head for Hershey where hopefully his state tournament will produce better results than it did one year ago.
"I was really bummed out after regionals because I lost a match I shouldn't have," Hidlay said. "It came down to the last few seconds and I didn't perform to my best ability. That carried on to the state tournament because as a result of my regional place, I didn't get a good draw in the bracket and it ended up bad for me. I got over that and I realize that I can't worry about it any more. All I want to do now is win as many matches as I can and hopefully the rewards will be much better for me this year."
In addition to Hidlay, the Huskies had another semifinalist in Noah Stewart at 152.
Stewart's day didn't start well as he dropped an 11-3 major decision to Parkland's Josh Ortman. On the heels of that setback, Stewart doubled up on Jeff Reimel of North Penn in the placement bout before he dropped a 3-1 match to Mifflinburg's Cole Walter and finished fourth.
In addition to Hidlay and Stewart, the Huskies also claimed another pair of placewinners in the prestigious event in Trey Hartsock at 182 and Timmy Pearce at 220.
Already in the wrestle backs, Hartsock began his day with a 17-1 technical fall in 3:37 over South Western's Cam Brown, but then fell 9-2 to Alex Price of North Penn. In his battle for place, Hartsock defeated Jason McGillick of Penn Trafford 7-1 to finish seventh.
Pearce also opened his day with a win when he decked Ben Bish of McDowell in just 50 seconds. However, in his next bout, Pearce was the victim of a fall at the hands of Kevin Hughes of Stroudsburg in 4:08.
Like his teammate Hartsock, Pearce was battling for seventh place in his place bout, but he came up a single point short in a 2-1 loss to Central Mountain's Cameron Porter to finish eighth.
In the team race, the Huskies finished in 15th place in the 34-team field with 82.5 points. Bethlehem Catholic won the team championship as the District 11 power accumulated 201 points while placing 10 of its 14 wrestlers.