Jeremy Lengle dies

Jeremy Lengle, a former wrestler from Pine-Richland, was killed in an automobile accident last week. Lengle reached PIAA folklore status when he wrestled Jefferson-Morgan's Travis Makel in the 125-pound finals at the PIAA Chamnpionships in 1995. Lengle pulled one of the greatest upset in the history of the state tournament when he caught undefeated Jason Betz of Warrior Run in a spladle and pinned him in 3:45 in the semifinals.

Makel was shooting for his second straight state title that season and dropped in weight from 145 to 125 so he could compete against Betz, who was considered a shoo-in to make the finals in the 125 weight class. The drop in weight took a toll on Makel, who struggled to hold it during the tournament. Matters were made worse when Makel came down with the flu and struggled in the semifinals.

Makel jumped out to an early lead but quickly ran out of gas. Lengle battled back but dropped a 9-7 decision to Makel. The crowd in Hersheypark Arena had taken Lengle's side during the bout because they felt Makel was stalling. When the awards were presented, many in the crowd booed when Makel's name was announced.

In an unparalelled act of sportsmanship in this event, Makel took the medal from around his neck and offered it to Lengle, who politely refused to take it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very sad that someone in their prime of life is gone. It is also a wonderful story of sportsmanship that I will remember and associate Jeremy Lengle's name with. My sympathy to his family and friends.

Friday, January 04, 2008 1:15:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Just a few comments/thoughts:

For what it is worth, it does not appear at least initially that Jeremy died as a result of injuries sustained from the car accident itself.

I guess it has been almost 13 years now..but if I remember correctly it was Jeremy who initially jumped out to a lead in the match and could not make it stick...then again maybe that was the outcome at Regionals....I am getting old.

Friday, January 04, 2008 1:34:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

and it was Jason Betz too, right?

Saturday, January 05, 2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Tuscano said...

Tom Betz? Geez. It was Jason Betz. My bad.

Monday, January 07, 2008 12:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thanks to all of those who remembered Jeremy and his great accomplishments.It makes me feel that he lives on through all the wrestling blogs and posts.He will be truly missed.He really showed that sometimes the least favored opponent can come from behind and
surprise alot of people.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 8:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeremy Lengle will go down in Pa State Tournament history as being the wrestler who pinned a 3 time state champion (in a spladle) to get to the final bout. As far as Makel trying to give the gold medal to Lengle after the crowd booed him (Makel)on the winner stand, that is a myth.
I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Jeremy Lengle. He was a great athlete and a great guy. My sympathy to the Lengle family.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Tuscano said...

No, Makel's offering his gold medal to Lengle was not a myth. I witnessed it and wrote about in the newspaper the next day. Makel was disappointed in his wrestling and was booed by the crowd so maybe that influenced him to do that.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Travis Makel offering Jeremy Lengle his medal is actually incorrect. Makel offered his gold medal the year before to Pen Argyl's James Kocher. Kocher was the favorite to win states but was defeated by injury default in the semis after a controversial slam call against him. Makel was awarded the gold medal after receiving a win by forfeit in the finals because his opponent was too injured after the slam to wrestle the final match. On the awards stand Travis Makel offered Kocher his gold medal.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey im jremys cousin and id like o thank everybody who has posted and just say as i was a wrestler i could never ever compre myself to jeremy.i likes tohave something to do on sat and sun but he wnt to the tourneys to kick some ass and thats what he did.i was just glad to not be stuck in the house.lol but he would never like meto say anything about whathe did and how good a wrestler he was .. thats just jer .. i guess u just had to know him. but thats how he was very modest ... i foud that to be strange but he loved wrestling and tried his hardest but he would nevertalk about it ... maby thats jus how i know he ws a great wrestler. we miss u buddy and ill always have u in our thought . love u .. my broher.. i know ur looking down ad smiling

Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:43:00 AM  

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