During the weekend, Gilman's John Kim and Calvert Hall's Greg Knox added National Prep tournament crowns to the Maryland State Wrestling Association titles they captured a week earlier.
Kim, the 135-pound MSA champion, dropped into the tournament's 130-pound class and improved his overall record to 36-0. The senior pinned his first-round opponent, then routed his next five by a combined 50-9 with two shutouts in the tournament at Lehigh University.
"The first couple of rounds went pretty fast. With the exception of the semifinal match, I didn't really change my style," said Kim, 18, who was second as a sophomore and third last year. "My semifinal match, the post-grad from Blair Academy [Pa.] was really aggressive. He was going for the big move, but I made sure he didn't get what he wanted."
Kim, who also has beaten defending state champion Greg Kessler of Owings Mills and No. 2-ranked Tom Dell of North Carroll, is a senior with a 4.0 grade-point average. He is leaning toward Duke or Harvard but was approached by other college scouts after his championship bout.
"I talked to a couple of coaches, from Princeton and Navy," said Kim. "After the match, Lehigh wanted me to apply. I feel great. It might sound corny, but this was like a dream for me."
Knox (25-1) had a first-round bye, then advanced to the finals on a pair of pins, a technical fall, a major decision and a 7-3 semifinal win. What made his victory even more impressive is that it came in the same weight class in which Jason Bustamante of St. Benedict's (N.J.) upset last year's champion, DeMatha's Mynor Herrera.
Bustamante then lost to Peddie's (N.J.) Jason Clendaniel, whom Knox defeated, 6-5, for the title. He had lost to Clendaniel last year.
For Loyola, fourth-ranked MSA champion junior Dave Daniecki (29-3) posted a 4-1 tournament record, dropping his title bout, 11-2. Another MSA champ, Archbishop Curley's third-ranked Gary Mryncza (140), took third, as did MSA runners-up Shane McCarthy (135) and Danny DeVivo (145) of Mount St. Joseph.
The Gaels' top-ranked MSA 189-pound champion Kevin Neville (152) suffered cracked ribs in practice last week and did not participate. The Gaels finished fourth in the high school team standings, Loyola was 14th, Calvert Hall 15th, Gilman 21st and Curley 44th. Wrestlers from 97 schools from across the country participated.
Oakland Mills captured its third straight crown under coach Dan Ricker -- its 13th in the past 16 years -- by edging favored Hammond, 219-203.
Hammond (13-1) had won all seven county dual meets, including a 31-29 victory over Oakland Mills, which broke the Scorpions' county winning streak at 25.
But Scorpions heavyweight Monte Spencer, Mike Maughan (125), Adam Seidman (135), Joe Salinas (140) and Marcus Myles (145) won titles, Geoff Henderson was a runner-up and five more Scorpions placed in the top four of their weight classes.
Seidman, a junior, battered Hammond's Chris Mercurio, 13-1, to capture his third county crown, and Spencer, a defending state champion, Salinas and Maughan won for the second time.
Salinas edged last year's 135-pound champion, Wilde Lake's Bobby Farace, 5-4.
Hammond had two champions, Chris Williams (130) and Mac Goudy (152).
"We were pretty much being laughed at after losing to Hammond," said Ricker, whose Scorpions went 8-4-1 overall (6-1 in the county). "Because of the tradition, people were starting to say we weren't any good, but now we want to win the regions."
Defending champion Owings Mills (175.5) was dethroned by Randallstown (180.5).
Led by top-ranked, three-time county champion and defending state champion Mike Jenson (171), Randallstown is looking forward to bigger and better things.
"We just hope we're peaking at the right time," said Rams coach Jeff Langrehr, whose squad should get a challenge from Aberdeen in this weekend's Class 4A-3A, Region I tournament.
"We're going after the next one, and we're obviously thinking about Aberdeen. But then we're taking one thing one at a time."
Aberdeen outdistanced runner-up Edgewood, 146-110, as Matt Slutzky continued his quest to become the state's first four-time champion. He became Harford County's fourth four-time champ, and teammate Zack Fowl, another defending state champion, won his second straight county crown at 112.
Another champ, Bel Air's 125-pound Scott Birth (17-0, 13 pins), has been trying to escape the shadow of his brother Chris, a former state champion and All-Metro wrestler.
Birth, a second-team All-Metro performer last year, captured his crown in a weight class that coach Gene Blizzard said "could have been for the state title."
It included Havre de Grace's fourth-ranked Jim Ervine, a Class 2A-1A state runner-up last year, and former county champion Ty Long of Edgewood.
Anne Arundel County
Seven-time champion Old Mill routed second-place Annapolis by 97 points, racking up 229 to break its record of 203.5.