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Inside Look at Dayton Pitzer’s Path to Pitt

The Pittsburgh Panthers continue to bolster their program as they land their 4th recruit in the class of 2022. Last week, Dayton Pitzer, the #17 220 pounder in the nation and 45th ranked wrestler in the class of 2022 by FloWrestling, announced his commitment to Pitt.

After he announced his commitment via Instagram, I reached out to Dayton to discuss his future as a Pitt Panther. Deciding where to wrestle in college was a “very easy decision” for Pitzer. He attributes the “overall atmosphere” along with the supportive coaching staff and current wrestlers. A Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania native, Pitzer felt at home at Pitt, which is less than an hour away from his current residence. 

Overcoming adversity is nothing new to Dayton Pitzer. In his freshman season, Pitzer beat out multiple upper-classmen to claim his first state title. Unfortunately, he tore his meniscus less than a year later. During the fall and summer after his successful freshman campaign, Pitzer underwent two surgeries for his meniscus, which sidelined him for his sophomore season.

With the odds stacked against him, Dayton continued to work hard, and with the support of his family, coaches, and doctors he came back to dominate the field. As a Junior, he won his 2nd state championship. Throughout two years of high school wrestling, Pitzer has accumulated an 85-3 record with two state titles.

At the collegiate level, Pitzer’s main aspirations are “being a national champion, and helping the team out as much as possible for a team title.” This past season, Pitt proved that they could contend for a national championship in the coming years, after finishing 11th in the nation– a massive jump from their previous finishes of #34 (2019), #31 (2018), and #32 (2017).

Pitzer wrestles at 215 lbs and will wrestle at heavyweight in college, so I expect him to redshirt during his freshman year to bulk up to better compete at that weight. The 1-2 punch at 197 lbs and heavyweight for Pitt with Mac Stout (#10 recruit at 195 lbs. in the class of 2022) and Dayton Pitzer will be one that wrestling fans can’t wait to watch.

Dayton Pitzer (projected weight HWT) joins Mac Stout (projected weight 197), Briar Priest (projected weight 141), and Jared Keslar (projected weight 157/165) as the first four recruits in the class of 2022 for head coach Keith Gavin. After taking over in 2017, Gavin and his staff have turned around the program. Based on their trajectory, the Panthers will be a force to be reckoned with in the ACC and at nationals for years to come.