Owings Mills pays back Overlea Wrestling

December 17, 1992|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Grant Johnson, Owings Mills' two-time 2A-1A state wrestling champion, had a lot on his mind before yesterday's tri-meet with Lansdowne and Overlea.

First, he wanted to avenge last year's 39-33 upset by Overlea, in which the Eagles yielded five pins, including heavyweight Eli McClain's second-period clincher. Then there was the fact that West Virginia University coach Craig Turnbull sat in the stands with assistant coach and former two-time NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist Nate Carr.

The Eagles trailed 23-22 before Johnson (8-0, all pins) keyed a sweep of the last four bouts and a 40-23 victory, with his fall being among a barrage that included another pin by Ed Overton (189, 8-0) and decisions by Jason Penski (160) and heavyweight Clint Helphinstine.

"He [Carr] told me they were coming, but I was still surprised to see him up there," said Johnson, whose seventh-place summer freestyle nationals finish made him the state's first undergraduate All-American.

Johnson planted Overlea's Phil Brown in 2:48, but wasn't satisfied with his effort.

"There's always something to improve on," said Johnson. "And he's [Carr] the guy I've tried to model myself after."

Both teams handled undermanned Lansdowne (0-4), Overlea (2-1) by 71-6, Owings Mills (5-0) by 67-6.

Overlea led Owings Mills 3-0 after John Stanley's decision at 103 pounds, but the Eagles went ahead 12-3 on pins by Adam Fink (112) and Stan Leazer (119).

Overlea tied the match at 12 on a pin by Tim Dimemmo (125), and led after Rob Anthony (130) defeated Victor Saez, 3-2, using a penalty point and one of his two escapes with 25 seconds left to overcome a 2-0 second-period deficit.

Then a move by Overlea's first-year coach, Bruce Malinowski, backfired. Malinowski forfeited to two-time state champion Gregg Kessler (135, 8-0), bumping Kelly Cowan to 140. Cowan lost his first dual match, 11-2, to Brandon Nolte and the Eagles led 22-12.

"I gave up six to get three thinking we could win at 140," said Malinowski, a two-time state champion at Kenwood in 1979 who coached at Parkville last year. "I also thought we had a shot at 160 and heavyweight."

The Falcons took a 23-22 lead after the next two bouts, as John Fields (145) trailed 2-0 early before scoring a third-period pin of Eric Wingrat, and Walter Clark (152) earned a 16-0 technical fall.

"We match up poorly against Overlea every year," said Owings Mills coach Guy Pritker. "But, luckily, our upper-weight guys pulled it out."

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