Long day for Harford wrestlers in states

March 06, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Only two Harford County wrestlers placed at yesterday's 1A-2A state tournament at Western Maryland College -- and both suffered close losses by decision in the championship bout.

Edgewood freshman Thomas Free (103, 19-2) dropped a 2-1 decision to Oakland Mill's No. 2-ranked Juri Freeman (33-1) -- this on a reversal late in the final period.

And Aberdeen's sixth-ranked Chad Guerrera (152, 29-2) lost a wild decision, 10-8, to Hammond's third-ranked Chris Williams (35-3).

Free was a mild surprise, reaching the final on a fall, an 11-5 quarterfinal decision, and a 6-3 semifinal victory over Williamsport's fourth-ranked Billy Baker (25-2), whose two previous losses had come outside of Maryland.

"It was a lean year in Harford County," said Aberdeen coach Dick Slutzky.

Guerrera didn't have it much easier, winning two decisions before beating Rockville's fourth-ranked John King, 7-5, in the semifinal. King entered the bout with a 28-3 record.

But Guerrera had problems with Hammond's Williams, whose deep, single-leg takedown was his primary weapon.

"I knew nothing about him before today because I had never seen him wrestle," said Guerrera, who lost in the first round of last year's states.

"It would have been nice to win, but I don't feel bad."

It was a bad finish to a great career North Carroll coach Dick Bauerlein.

After failing to win a state wrestling tournament championship in 19 years at the Hampstead school, a totally frustrated Bauerlein said yesterday: "Maybe it's the site [Western Maryland College]. Maybe we ought to move the tournament."

That was the only answer Bauerlein, who is retiring, could come up with yesterday to the latest strain of bad luck for the Panthers in the state 1A-2A tournament.

This time around, North Carroll didn't place one wrestler in the finals and fell to fifth place with 51 points behind first-place finisher Damascus.

Damascus had 93.5 points to edge defending champion Northeast (93) by a half-point.

In contrast, county rival Francis Scott Key surprised a lot of people and nailed down three individual state championships.

Randy Owings won his second straight at 135, Chris Beale shocked a lot of people with a state title at 140, and Zac Yinger won handily at 145.

Owings decisioned Dunbar's Hernandez Thompson, 5-0, Beale decisioned Northeast's Steve Smiddy, 8-2, and Yinger sailed to a 10-3 decision over Lackey's Ryan Hersey.

Key took third place with 69.5 points.

Second-ranked and state 1A-2A dual-meet champion North Carroll had blitzed the eighth-ranked Eagles twice in dual meets this season.

But not yesterday as first Doug Dell, then Tommy Kiler and finally Chris Boog went down to defeat in the semifinals.

Dell wasn't feeling well and lost to Northeast's Marty Kusick, 5-1, in the 112-pound semis; Kiler lost a tough 10-9 decision to Dunbar's Thompson at 135 pounds, and Boog was beaten in overtime in a bout he would have won in regulation if a scorekeeper had marked down a penalty point against Wilde Lake's Mike Green.

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