Northeast steps up at Arundel

January 16, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

No. 2 Northeast (156 points) improved on last year's third-place finish but fell short of champion DeMatha (179.5) in last night's 11th annual, nine-team Arundel Invitational Tournament.

The defending 1A-2A state champion Eagles, ranked No. 3 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, had champions in top-ranked Mike Kusick (119, 14-0), No. 6 Matt Jewer (135, 14-1) and No. 2 Steve Smiddy (140, 13-1) to edge last year's champ, St. Benedict's (137.5, third), New Jersey's No. 3 team.

But DeMatha (fifth MSWA), coached by Dick Messier of Elkridge, countered with champs in top-ranked Todd Beckerman (112, 23-0) and No. 2 Jerry Sloan (130, 21-4 ) -- both Crofton residents -- and No. 3 Matt Allman (152, 23-2). Messier's Stags, winners of an earlier dual meet over 3A-4A state champ Old Mill, were 1990 Arundel champs.

For Oakland Mills (seventh), fifth-ranked Howard County champ

Juri Freeman (103, 15-1) beat two opponents by a combined, 17-0 en route to his title. His county champ teammate, Wade dTC Mitchell (125, 14-1) won, 3-0, over Northeast's Glen Lail (11-4).

State champion Kusick (six pins, three technical falls) won, 10-1, over Arundel's No. 3 Phil Meenan (16-1, 12 pins) and Jewer (10 pins) cruised to a 20-8 decision over DeMatha's Brian Page (25-6). Smiddy won, 4-3, over last year's champ, DeMatha's No. 4 Robert Alexander (21-4), needing a takedown with 43 seconds left to break a 2-2 tie.

The evening's marquee bout featured the state's co-No. 1-ranked wrestlers, with National Prep champ Beckerman (74-1 career) avenging his only career loss, 5-3, over Northeast's state champion Marty Kusick (112, 13-1), Mike's twin, on a takedown with four seconds left.

Beckerman, a sophomore, had a 3-0, second-period lead before Kusick's escape made it 3-1 entering the third. It was 3-3 after another Kusick escape, coupled with a stalling penalty point against Beckerman with 12 seconds left.

"I needed a takedown and just went for broke," said Beckerman, who lost, 8-7, in last year's dual meet against Kusick. "I went home during the break and watched a tape of last year's match to get pumped up."

Smiddy and Jewer gained a measure of revenge against the Stags by winning their title bouts.

No. 7 Arundel (eighth) was without three injured regulars, including third-ranked heavyweight John Noon (15-0, 12 pins), who sprained an ankle.

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