County champs boost Wilde Lake in tourney Romano nearly steals show with her runner-up finish

January 04, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

No. 10 Wilde Lake's fifth-place finish in last week's 14th annual Arundel Holiday Invitational was highlighted by two great bouts wrestled by county champions Nate Casella (189) and Mike Green (171).

But a junior-varsity wrestler, sophomore Maria Romano (112), nearly stole the show with her runner-up Wrestling notebook

finish to Arundel's champion, freshman Ryan Markish.

With the crowd cheering her on, Romano wrestled one of her best bouts of the season. Trailing 2-1 midway through the first and nearly getting a cradle-pinning maneuver against Markish as time expired in the first period.

"I don't know if it's true, but one of their [Wilde Lake's] kids told me that she bench-pressed 120 pounds," said Markish, repeating a rumor that is untrue. "It felt like she was stronger than me, and she was doing all of the moves that everyone else knows."

Trailing 5-1, Romano scored a reversal in the second to cut it to 5-3, but Markish countered with his reversal before pinning Romano (1-4) midway through the period.

"I had been worried about this match for two days," said Markish (9-2). "If I'd have lost, everyone would have rubbed it in. I took her as seriously as anyone, and it was definitely exciting."

vTC Romano, who weighed 105 pounds, reached the final on forfeits, which somewhat dampened her celebration of winning her first high school medal. Markish also reached the final on forfeits.

"I would have rather beaten some people to get there," said Romano, 15, who scored a takedown in her other junior-varsity match against a South Carroll opponent before being pinned.

She also had a takedown in a St. Mary's match and went the distance in a 10-0 loss to Good Council's Matt Reid.

Fourth-ranked regional champ and state runner-up Casella (189), three-time county champion, used six takedowns in a 14-5 victory over West Virginia's state runner-up, Roger Fraley.

Fraley (6-1, six pins) went 32-1 a year ago and brought 64 career pins into the match -- including one in 12 seconds in his Arundel tournament semifinal bout.

But after his victory, Casella (11-2) scoffed at Fraley's reputation, saying, "Either West Virginia wrestling is terrible or I'm getting better."

The latter seems to be true, because Casella is wrestling in the state's toughest weight class, including one of his two losses to Loyola's third-ranked Maryland Scholastic Association champion Dave Daniecki (189, 14-2).

Daniecki's only losses came by 3-1 against Riverdale Baptist's second-ranked Marcus Foran, and by 5-3 on an overtime takedown against Smithsburg's top-ranked, two-time 2A-1A state champion Chris Kretsinger.

Casella is expected to challenge Kretsinger, whose only losses in his 3 1/2 -year, 69-match career have come twice against a two-time West Virginia state champion and once as a sophomore to Linganore's 4A-3A champ Chris Butler.

"What Daniecki did against Kretsinger would have to pump Nate up," said Wilde Lake coach Rich Jackson, whose Wildecats are 5-0. "I think if Nate wrestled Daniecki again, he'd beat him. Nate was still out of shape from football when he wrestled Daniecki."

Daniecki, an All-Metro wrestler, has beaten Casella, Arundel's sixth-ranked county and regional runner-up Greg Booth and handed Owings Mills' Ed Overton his first loss in nine matches.

Fifth-ranked county and regional champion Green finished third at Arundel after losing a 6-4 overtime decision to Booth, the eventual champion. Booth, who pinned Casella for the tournament title last year, trailed, 2-0, after an early takedown by Green.

Green, who was third in the state last year, remained in steady control until late in the first period, when the wrestlers approached the edge of the mat and Green prematurely let go of Booth, who responded with an escape and a takedown to go up 3-2 entering the second. Green thought a whistle from another match was his referee's.

A reversal gave Green his last lead, 4-3, before allowing a late escape and Booth's overtime takedown.

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