Harris gives foes sense of 4-boding

February 09, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Randallstown wrestler Gary Harris has been taking the action to his opponents this year.

Whether staying at his preferred weight, which is 125 pounds, or going up one or two weight classes, he has continued to overwhelm his adversaries.

"He's capable of doing a variety things in a match, so it makes him very difficult for any coach to scout," said Randallstown coach Solomon Carr, a former state champion freestyle wrestler at his high school in Pennsylvania.

Carr attributes the Rams' better-than-expected 7-6 record in large part to Harris' enthusiasm.

"I'm impressed with the attitude that he's been showing," Carr said. "Having him has lifted the team's intensity and set the mood for a winning atmosphere. He's got the kind of tools that are going to take him very far."

Harris, the top-ranked, defending state champion wrestler, has a 51-match winning streak dating to his sophomore season, when -- at 31-0 -- he lost the state-title bout, 5-3, to North Carroll's Jeremy Myers.

His 109-4 career record entering this weekend's Baltimore County tournament includes a freshman season at Owings Mills and two years at Milford Mill.

He transferred to Randallstown this season for a class in environmental science that Milford Mill did not offer. The transfer met county rules and was approved by the principals of both schools.

Harris, 18, the top seed in the county tournament, is trying to become only the second four-time Baltimore County champion since Hereford's Robert Hough in 1990.

"During the summer, wrestling freestyle with [Northwest Wrestling Club director] Cornell Bass helped make me so much better on my feet," said Harris, a two-time regional champ.

Harris has a 19-0 record, including 16 pins and a technical fall. He was voted The Outstanding Wrestler in winning the McDonogh Tournament and had two pins and a technical fall to win last weekend's Friends Invitational title.

Last year, Harris went 30-0, including a 10-1 state-title victory over Southern-Anne Arundel's Tyrone Neal, currently ranked No. behind Harris at 125.

Although Harris had a 19-0 record at this point last year, he had only 10 pins and two technical falls.

"My style is basically the same, except I'm always moving and I'm more intense. I try to stay on top of my opponents more," Harris said. "I've lifted weights some, but I try to rely on technique, not so much muscle in my matches."

His combination of finesse, skill and power have been devastatingly effective.

Eastern Tech's Brian Nagle -- the No. 2 seed at 125 for the counties -- was unbeaten when Harris pinned him in their dual-meet bout after building an eight-point lead.

Harris went up a weight class to 130 in a dual meet against C. Milton Wright, winning, 12-7, over Vince Tucciarella (11-2, eight pins).

He went up two weight classes to 135 for a 7-1 victory over Dulaney's fifth-ranked Alex Leanos (20-1) and had a 135-pound pin in a dual meet against Poly.

"He's pretty tough, but I felt I did pretty good against him," Tucciarella said. "He definitely killed me on my feet."

As effortless as his victories seem to have been, Harris only wants to get better.

"This year, with Solomon's help, I can learn to correct my mistakes as I wrestle," Harris said. "None of my matches has been without a flaw. There's always room for improvement."

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