Old Mill's Brent Layman didn't need any more incentive for last weekend's Chesapeake wrestling tournament than the name he heard people muttering under their breath.
"When I walked through the doors they said (Southwestern's Caldwell Veale) was here. Then I said to myself -- I've got a challenge," said Layman, the No. 1-ranked 140-pound wrestler by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.
Veale, a staunch and sturdy 140-pounder from Baltimore's Southwestern High, had won the Chesapeake tournament in 1987. He had also won a couple of Maryland Scholastic Association titles.
Layman (9-0), a slender wrestler who relies on quickness and guile to win his matches, was a strong contrast to Veale (7-1), whose bruising, punishing reputation proceeded him to his championship bout with Layman.
"I tell you what, I've never seen a kid that size, that strong," said Old Mill coach Mike Hampe.
Yet, in the same manner in which he finessed his way into the championship bout, Layman sized up Veale en route to winning a tough bout, 11-8, in overtime.
Layman trailed, 2-0, after the first period, but used two swift takedowns to tie the match in the second period. Layman escaped to again tie the match early in the third period, but neither wrestler could get the takedown and the match went into overtime.
Layman, however, had an edge.
Hampe and his assistant, coach Jay Bronstein, had watched Veale as he pinned his way into a semifinal bout with Mount St. Joseph's Khris Reina, whom Veale handled, 12-5.
They carefully scrutinized Veale's style, dissecting it for the slightest mistakes.
"Everyone has flaws, and coach Bronstein spotted them," said Hampe.
In overtime, Layman put Hampe's pre-match strategy to work.
"(Veale) really locks up on people when they shoot and I didn't want to get caught in there," said Layman. "The plan was to pretty much attack from the angles."
In the first period of overtime, Layman quickly snagged Veale's right leg, and -- while circling to the right -- rose and hoisted the leg high above their heads. He then tripped Veale's supporting left leg out from under him and Veale landed hard on his back.
The maneuver gave Layman a 2-0 first period lead over the fading Veale.
Layman later scored on an escape, a penalty point and a similar takedown in the final overtime period to outscore Veale, 6-3, for the win.