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Rustin racks up eight pins to take down Sun Valley, 61-9

Cory McQuiston's 35-second fall at 112 highlighted the Golden Knights' mat romp.

Thirty seconds into the first period of Cory McQuiston's match at 112 pounds, several spectators in West Chester Rustin's home crowd murmured something along the lines of "Well, yep, he's got him."

Suffice to say, they've gotten used to the junior dominating opponents.

McQuiston's pin a swift 35 seconds into his bout against Sun Valley's Alex Trambetta highlighted a superb night for the Golden Knights. They defeated the visiting Vanguards, 61-9, Wednesday night in a Ches-Mont League American Conference wrestling match.

Rustin won 11 of the 14 bouts, including a forfeit in the 103-pound weight class. The Golden Knights earned eight of their wins by pin.

McQuiston, a junior, didn't express much after the match beyond saying, "Yeah, I tried to pin him as fast as I could."

But his coach, Brad Harkins, gave a far more colorful analysis of his star junior's victory.

"Cory's an animal," Harkins said. "He's a tough kid. It doesn't matter who he's wrestling - he's going to go out and try and kick their butt."

Also winning by pin for Rustin, which likely will be a serious contender in District 1 this season, were John Dunleavy at 130 pounds, Codi Rothermel (135), Kyle Hoch (160), Tyler Wood (171), Tommy Tomlin (215), Chase Hoyt (285), and Evan Harkins, the coach's nephew, at 119.

The effort was dominant, and Harkins was glad to see all the decisive wins.

"One thing that all coaches stress is 'you get a guy on his back, and you don't let him up,' " Harkins said. "So, definitely happy to see them finish the job."

The win improved Rustin to 2-0 in dual meets, both victories coming in the Ches-Mont American.

Sun Valley (0-2, 0-2) began strong, with 125-pounder Ryan Lee overcoming Rustin's Alex Laurido in an overtime period, 3-0, in the opening match.

It was the kind of start Sun Valley needed, but a prompt second-round pin by the Knights' Dunleavy shifted the momentum, and Rustin didn't lose much the rest of the night.

Even though it was a lopsided victory, McQuiston saw where Rustin could make improvements.

"It was good," the junior deadpanned when assessing the win, "except the three [matches] we lost."

In all, that's the prevailing mentality at Rustin this season. The Knights are the defending league champs and are looking to make a serious run on the state level.

"We have to continue to try and get better," Harkins said. "We can't be satisfied with performances. We have to try to get better and better and better."

As for his star, McQuiston, who lost only four matches as a sophomore and qualified for the state individual tournament, Harkins acknowledged the junior's lack of charisma - "He isn't very vocal," the coach said.

But Harkins pointed to his wrestler's strong work ethic, which he believes provides leadership for his team.

"He is going hard all the time. All the time," Harkins said, stressing each word. "He works extremely hard, and that's why he's as good as he is."