COLLEGE CORNER: Matta, the “pin master,” wraps up junior season at Lock Haven with accolades

Madison Matta, Lock Haven Wrestling. Photo courtesy of Lock Haven University.

Madison Matta, the 136-pound grappler called the “pin master” in Lock Haven country, now has a few more titles to add to her name: State champion, regional runner-up, and national qualifier.

Matta, from Waynesboro, has been a trailblazing sledgehammer for the Lock Haven women’s wrestling program, which recently completed its second season in existence this winter. Matta has been in the lineup every step of the way, compiling a 19-8 record with 13 pins this season.

In this week’s College Corner, we’ll take a closer look at back half of Matta’s season, which includes runs through the Pennsylvania Women’s Collegiate State Championships, and the NCWWC Region I and National Championships.

Also in College Corner, we will take a look at how former Waynesboro athletes are performing in swimming, track, basketball and baseball.


Madison Matta, Junior, Lock Haven

It’s been a busy — and quite successful — past few months for Matta, whose season came to an end at last weekend’s NCWWC National Championships at Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

On the road to individual glory, Matta assisted the Lock Haven dual squad to a 9-5 record, culminating in the team’s ninth-place finish at the NWCA Multi-Division National Dual Meet Championships on Jan. 6-7. In that tournament, Matta posted a 3-2 record, recording two pins in the process.

Matta began her individual postseason run by winning a title at the Pennsylvania Women’s Collegiate State Championships on Jan. 29. She conquered the tournament with VFA wins over Gannon’s Ariana Gonzalez (5-0 in 2:51) and East Stroudsburg’s Rachel DeGiulio (4-0 in 0:40).

She carried her momentum into the NCWWC Region I Championships on Feb. 18. Matta pinned her way to the final with falls over Sacred Heart’s Jullia Mullane (4:00) and Elmira’s Gabby Bradigan (1:57) before she met her match in Gannon’s Lana Perez, who pinned Matta in 2:03.

The runner-up showing at regionals takes us to last weekend’s national tournament. Matta went 1-2 with a decision victory. She opened with a 1-0 loss to Northern Michigan’s Diana Dzasezeva, but bounced back in the wrestlebacks with a 2-1 win over Simon Fraser’s Jade Trolland. Her tournament came to an end in the next bout with a loss by fall in 0:23 to Colorado Mesa’s Holly Beaudoin.

Matta concludes her season with a 19-8 record, which includes 13 falls. She has a career record of 31-11.


Cara Toney, Freshman, California (Pa.)

After appearing as a regular in California’s lineup for most of the season, Toney was inactive for all of her team’s competitions in 2023. 

With the 5-foot-5 Toney, a specialist in the backstroke, butterfly, and IM, out of the lineup, the Vulcans suffered their only losses of the season on Jan. 21 at the PennWest Duals, falling to both Edinboro (137-66) and Clarion (136-69).

California finished its dual season with an 11-2 record and wrapped up its postseason at the PSAC Championships on Feb. 15-18.


Joel Weber, Freshman, Pitt-Johnstown

Weber has competed in four invitationals since our last update, missing the postseason, but establishing new PRs in the 800 and mile.

We’ll start at the YSU Indoor Invitational on Jan. 20, where Weber nailed down a collegiate-best time of 5:03.34 in the mile take 68th place. One week later, he ran the mile in 5:17.76 for 92nd place at the YSU Mid-Major Invitational.

Weber took on the mile again, this time at the DII Indoor Pre-Nationals on Feb. 10-11, finishing 29th in 5:06.31.

He wrapped up his indoor season on Feb. 18 at the University of Mount Union Tune-Up, where he placed 16th in the 800 with a PR time of 2:14.64.

Weber and UPJ will now shift their focus to the outdoor season, which begins on March 17-18 at the Bob Davidson Invitational at High Point (N.C.).

Cora Helman, Freshman, Shenandoah

Helman ran one invitational for the Shenandoah track squad this winter: The Kaye & JJ Smith Invitational on Jan. 15.

In that meet, Helman assisted the Hornets to a fourth-place finish in 4×800 (10:43.40), while also taking 19th in the 3,000 (12:46.02).

Helman will now prepare for the outdoor season, which begins on March 17 at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Dillon Turner, Freshman, Wingate

Turner saw action in three invitationals this winter, where he got to showcase his abilities in both the 60 dash and the 60 hurdles.

He kicked off his collegiate track career on Jan. 22 at the COROS Collegiate Challenge, where he finished 16th in the 60 hurdles (9.48) and 30th in the 60 (8.05).

Turner returned to competition at the JLD DMR Invitational on Feb. 17-18, where he finished the 60 hurdles in 9.65 for seventh place.

Finally, competing at the South Atlantic Indoor Championships on Feb. 25-26, Turner took 17th in the 60 hurdles with a PR time of 9.29.

Turner will prepare for the outdoor season, which begins on March 17-18 when Wingate travels to compete in the Charlotte 49ers Classic.


Hope Freels, Freshman, Wilson

Freels got a fair amount of game time to learn the collegiate ropes this season.

Freels, a 5-foot-10 forward, appeared in 16 games for Wilson, totaling 17 points, 18 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in 100 minutes on the court.

On Jan. 14 in a 92-61 win over Rosemont, Freels scored a career-high six points.

Wilson ends its season with a 16-9 record, which includes a 13-5 mark in the CSAC.

Becca Cordell, Freshman, Wilson

Alongside former high school teammate Freels, Cordell also saw beneficial time on the court for the Phoenix this season.

Cordell, a 5-foot-6 guard, appeared in 12 games for Wilson, racking up 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 60 minutes of action.

Cordell scored a career-high six points in a 92-61 win over Rosemont on Jan. 14.


Kurt Biesecker, Junior, Mansfield

Biesecker is getting some quality reps for Mansfield, logging hits in four of the seven games he’s played this season.

Biesecker, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound first baseman, is batting .250 (4 for 16) with one home run, four runs, and five RBI. He teed off for his home run in a 13-5 win over Glenville State on Feb. 19.

Biesecker, an Accounting Major, and the Mounties return to action on Sunday with a doubleheader at Millersville.

Maddox Brooks, Freshman, James Madison

Brooks, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound catcher in his first year of college ball, has seen limited playing time for James Madison thus far this spring.

Brooks has recorded no at-bats this season, but he has appeared as a defensive replacement in wins over Cornell (7-5) on Feb. 26 and VCU (19-5) on March 8. He recorded his first career putout in the win over Cornell.

Brooks, a Sport and Recreation Management Major, and the Dukes return to action on Friday with a road game at USC Upstate.

Garrett Beaver, Freshman, Salisbury

Beaver, a right-handed relief pitcher for Salisbury, has made two appearances for the Seagulls, who are off to a 9-1 start this season.

Beaver, checking in at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, made his collegiate debut on Feb. 19 in a 13-5 win over Cortland. In that game, he worked one inning and allowed two runs on three hits.

Beaver once again took the mound on March 8, working a clean 1/3 of an inning in his team’s 23-4 loss to Johns Hopkins.

Salisbury returns to the diamond on Saturday with a home game against Moravian.

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