Brennan excels, but Owls fall Wrestling

December 08, 1992|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Not even a 44-21 loss to No. 4 Owings Mills could spoil the afternoon that Westminster's wrestler Neil Brennan had yesterday.

Brennan, a natural 145-pounder, made a sacrifice for the team by wrestling at 152 pounds in yesterday's tri-meet with the host Eagles (3-0) and Towson (0-3), which lost 48-13 to Owings Mills, and 51-18 to the Owls (1-1).

Brennan was coming off of his fourth-place finish at last weekend's Annapolis tournament, where he was pinned by Mount St. Joseph's top-ranked Shane McCarthy and lost, 14-7, to Oakland Mills' three-time Howard County champion Adam Seidman.

But he wasn't going to lose to another wrestler ranked by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.

And he proved that against Towson's fifth-ranked Shawn Kopalchick, a defending regional champion.

Brennan, who improved to 5-2, battled through a scoreless first period and a second-period that was tied at 2-2. He then outscored Kopalchick, 5-0, over the third period, using an escape, a takedown and three back points for an 8-2 decision.

"Losing at Annapolis was frustrating, but I think it helped me today," said Brennan, a senior who had Kopalchick nearly pinned as time ran out. "I didn't know I'd have to wrestle him, but I was looking forward to it. I felt like I was going to win today."

But Brennan couldn't prevent the 23-point sweep by the two-time 2A-1A state champion Eagles. Owings Mills led, 21-15, when Brennan flattened Sam Friedman after just 1 minute, 13 seconds to tie the match.

The Eagles pulled away to win on pins by Jason Pensky (160), two-time state champ Grant Johnson (171) and heavyweight Clint Helphinstine, and a 19-4 technical fall win by Ed Overton (189).

The Eagles' match with Westminster was tied at 6 after the first three bouts, with the Eagles' Stan Leazer (119) getting a second-period pin and the Owls' Matt Warner (103) and Donny Smith (112) taking decisions.

Westminster led, 11-6, after Ben Earhart's (125) technical fall, but a decision by Victor Saez (130) and a first-period pin by two-time state champ Gregg Kessler (135) gave the Eagles their first lead, 15-11.

Westminster's Brad Shisler's (140) major decision tied the bout at 15, but the Eagles' Eric Wingrat (145) overcame a 2-0 deficit with his second-period pin of Eric Weller, making it 21-15, in what both Eagles coach Guy Pritzker and Owls coach Solomon Carr considered a turning point.

"He was taller than me, so it took me a while to get used to that," said Wingrat, a junior-varsity county champion last year. "But I went out looking for the pin like I always do. Then I heard Gregg [Kessler] screaming that the half [nelson] was there, so I took it."

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