An exhausted Brent Layman rushed to a remote corner of the Annapolis gymnasium. Then, his back to a wall, he sank to the floor and buried his sweat-soaked head in a towel.
The 140-pound Old Mill wrestler had just won an exciting bout, 13-7, over Mount St. Joseph's highly regarded Khris Reina for his second consecutive Annapolis Tournament title.
But, from appearances, it seemed as though he had lost.
"I got sloppy," said Layman, a senior. Then he gave an explanation for his obvious disappointment.
"I was careless in finishing my single-leg takedowns. I got spladled twice," said Layman. "He countered my shots really well, and I didn't expect that. He was better than I thought he was."
In Reina, Layman could have been talking about the entire Mount St.
Joseph's squad. The Gaels didn't just wrest the Annapolis Tournament title from the two-time defending champion Patriots -- they ripped it right out of the Patriots' hands.
Mount St. Joseph's out-distanced the runner-up Patriots, 191-134.5, capturing five titles in the process. The victory came just a week after Mount St. Joseph's had won the Archbishop Curley tournament with five individual titlists.
Old Mill was without Brian Layman, Brent's 160-pound brother, who placed third in last year's state tournament. Brian was still nursing a shoulder injury and is expected to wrestle against Gilman tomorrow.
Both Brent and Brian (152) Layman are ranked No. 1 in their weight classes by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. And even though Sun Park -- who wrestled in Brian Layman's absence -- did not place, it is doubtful that having Brian Layman would have been enough to close the gap.
"I know it would have been a lot closer, but I don't think it would have made a difference," said Old Mill coach Mike Hampe. "I knew we had some holes, but the guys we did have wrestled well for the limited amount of varsity experience they have."
Old Mill's Steve Lundstrom (103) -- ranked No. 2 in his weight class -- was the Patriots' other champion.
Lundstrom decisioned Calvert Hall's No. 5-ranked Greg Knox, 6-2, in the championship bout. Lundstrom's teammate at the opposite end of the weight-spectrum, heavyweight Don Marco, dropped a 7-4 decision to Oakland Mills' Monte Spencer for second place.
John Bliss (145) and John Earle (152) finished third for Old Mill.
Four other county teams entered the 16-team tournament. Broadneck, with 111 points, had two champions and finished fourth behind Bullis Prep, which had 121.
Last year's Class 4A/3A state tournament runner-up Annapolis (88.5 points) had one champion, Pat Flynn (145), and finished seventh ahead of Howard County's Oakland Mills (87.5).
St. Mary's (70, 10th) had a pair of runner-ups while Severna Park was 16th with 27.5 points and no place winners.
Broadneck's No. 1-ranked Shawn Miller (112) and unranked Duke Koblinsky (130) won their titles in shocking fashion.
Miller, who did not practice last week because of a deep cut in his left hand, overcame a 2-0 first period deficit to win, 7-3, over Paint Branch's defending state champion Craig Middledorf.
Miller dedicated the match to former teammate Jason Berger, whom Middledorf beat for his state title.
"This was sort of a rematch in two ways; I beat (Middledorf) when I was 12 in junior leagues, and I wanted to win for this Jason," said Miller, who placed third in the last year's state tournament at 112. "(Middledorf) is a lot bigger now. I didn't want to go into overtime, because I figured I'd get tired and he'd take me."
But Miller was in complete control of the match after a reversal early in the third period, and had the No. 2-ranked Middledorf fighting off of his back for the remainder of the match.
Koblinsky had a tough route to the finals, where he blanked St. Mary's Phil MacWilliams, 3-0. Koblinsky pitched a 7-0 shutout against McDonough's top-ranked Marty Margolis in their semifinal bout, scoring all of the points in the final period.
Broadneck freshman Charlie Bennett (103) took third place, but not before nearly reaching the championship match. Bennett's semifinal match with Knox was tied 1-1 through regulation and overtime and had to be settled by a referee's criteria decision.
"(Knox) got called for stalling, and Bennett got the point just before the buzzer, but I thought the referee should have called stalling sooner," said Broadneck coach John Mayberry. "My guy shot six, seven or eight times before he got the call. But I have to give the other kid credit, he out-wrestled Bennett at times."
Mayberry's disappointment in Bennett's semifinal bout was tempered by some favorable results in other areas of the tournament -- like Broadneck's Roy Brazeau (119) beating Howard County champion Kalev Freeman for third place after defeating Annapolis' Mike Bousman in the consolation semifinals. Then there was Seth Lopalkiewicz' (152) pin of Annapolis' Jemal Minatee and Cliff McClain's (189) come-from-behind pin over Old Mill's Chris Spears.