After finishing third last year, the 4A-3A squad recaptured top status by winning its fourth crown in last night's sixth annual Senior All-Star Classic at Johns Hopkins.
The 4A-3A squad captured six gold medals and defeated the MSA-Independents, 33-20, and the 2A-1A squad, 30-24. The 2A-1A squad also lost, 31-21, to the MSA-Independents.
Randallstown's two-time defending Class 4A-3A state champion Mike Jenson (171, 35-0) took just 1:57 to defeat Mardela's two-time defending Class 2A-1A state champion Ismael Smith, who entered the bout with a 29-0 record. He then beat Bullis' Steve Tischelman in just 27 seconds.
"He [Smith] stood straight up and tried to wrestle upper-body, but that was a mistake," said Jenson, who entered the night with a career record of 94-1-1. He was chosen the outstanding heavyweight wrestler. "He was open for the upper-body lock you saw me use. And I was able to pin him with the cradle," Jenson said.
In another featured bout, Gilman's National Prep champion John Kim (135, 38-0) edged North Carroll's Class 2A-1A state champion Tom Dell, 8-4. Kim also downed Charles County's McDonough's state runner-up Larry Green, 15-6, to earn the gold medal and the award as the outstanding lightweight wrestler.
"It was definitely on my mind that I had beaten Dell before. I was wondering if I could get up for it," said Kim, who beat Dell in overtime, 7-5, earlier this year. "My first match, I was really tired and worried about my conditioning. But I was confident when I went out there against Dell, and I was pretty happy with the match."
Wrestling for the 2A-1A squad, Oakland Mills' two-time state champion heavyweight Monte Spencer (27-1) won, 5-2, over Landon's James Cassidy, who placed third in the National Preps and entered the bout with a 38-3 record. He also downed Old Mill's Don Marco, 5-3, in a tough bout to win the gold.
Annapolis' state champ Chip Cochran (152, 35-1) beat McDonogh School's MSA champion Brian Antonelli and Smithburg's state-tournament runner-up Vince Catania by a combined 14-2 for his gold medal.
"This was fun. I had already achieved the goal I had set for myself, but I liked getting a little more wrestling in," Cochran said.
South River's Billy Whitcher (125, 36-2) won a decision over Landon's National Prep tournament runner-up Rob Sands, 14-8, and later defeated North Carroll's Class 2A-1A runner-up Andy Rill, 6-2, for his gold.
"I was just happy to be here because I thought Scott Birth would do it," said Whitcher, who placed third in the Class 4A-3A. Birth, Bel Air's 125-pound state champion, chose not to wrestle. "To win two -- I'm pretty surprised," Whitcher said.
Another surprise was St. Mary's second-ever MSA champion, Phil MacWilliams (130, 34-6). He won a decision over the Class 4A-3A state champion from Frederick Douglass, Kyantae Hawkins, 5-3, and earned the gold medal with a wild 13-12 victory over Harford Vo-Tech's Class 2A-1A runner-up Brian Johnson.
"I saw him wrestle in the states and he was strong," said MacWilliams. "So I wrestled conservatively because I knew he won the states on strength. I just outsmarted him."
Other gold medalists were Broadneck's state champion Shawn Miller (119, 37-0), Severna Park's state champion Aaron Cree (189, 30-6), Calvert Hall's National Prep champion Greg Knox (112, 27-1) and Mount St. Joseph's Chad Votta (140, 33-6).