WESTMINSTER -- Oakland Mills and defending champion Owings Mills are locked in a battle for the top spot with Smithsburg and North Carroll after last night's quarterfinals of the Class 2A-1A state wrestling tournament at Western Maryland College.
Oakland Mills stood in first place with 37.5 points after last night, Owings Mills was next with 32.5. Smithsburg took third at 31.5, while North Carroll was fourth at 28.
The tournament finishes today. This would be its fourth state title since 1980 for Oakland Mills.
Five Oakland Mills wrestlers are still alive heading into today's semifinals. Jason Marrero (119), Mike Maughn (125), Adam Seidman (130), Marcus Myles (145) and heavyweight Monte Spencer advanced to the semifinals.
Oakland Mills coach Dan Ricker is not breaking out the champagne yet, however.
"The semifinals will tell the whole story," said Ricker. "We need to get four in the finals. I just wanted to be in the top three tonight."
Ricker said he is concerned about some of the difficult matches his team has today. His wrestlers are relatively inexperienced, but have done very well. Spencer is a defending state champion, he won in Class 3A-4A last year.
Owings Mills won easily last year, but the Eagles will have a harder time of it this year.
Darren Ginsberg (112), Cory Setlen (119), Gregg Kessler (140), Grant Johnson ( 160) and Sigmund Fraser (171) all reached the semifinals. The Eagles face some tough semifinal matches today, however.
"I'm looking at each kid individually," said Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker. "If we end up with the title; that's a bonus and a half."
Smithsburg has four wrestlers in today's semifinals.
Jason Draper (130), Doug Batey (140), Vince Catania (152) and Chris Kretsinger (189) are still in the running for the Leopards.
North Carroll has been the perennial runner-up during the past few years. The Panthers finished fourth, second, third and second in Class 3A-4A in the past four state meets.
The Panthers qualified nine wrestlers this year, and still have three wrestlers left in the semifinals. Jeremy Myers (103), Andy -- Rill (125) and Tom Dell (135) still have shots at the state title.
"We can still do it," said North Carroll coach Dick Bauerlein. "We're in the running. If everybody else splits and gives us some help, we'll [be fine]."
Dell has finished second in the state the past two years. He lost in overtime two years ago, and fell by two points last year.