F.S. Key wrestlers celebrate big day

March 07, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Welcome to Francis Scott Key, home of three state individual 1A-2A wrestling champions.

The champs are junior Randy Owings, who won his second straight state title, senior Chris Beale, who had an exciting and shocking run to a championship and junior Zac Yinger, who buzz-sawed his way to the top.

Owings, Beale and Yinger dominated the state tournament for three straight bouts, as they took the 135-, 140- and 145-pound classes, respectively.

The Eagles stole a lot of North Carroll's thunder in the state wrestling tournament Saturday at Western Maryland College.

Sharing a lot of the glory with the three Key wrestlers was South Carroll's dazzling sophomore Mike Chenoweth, who turned a lot of heads in the 3A-4A tournament when he pinned Meade's Adam Butts in three minutes, 49 seconds, to capture the 160-pound championship.

Chenoweth swept through his weight class with four straight pins, giving him a 31-1 record -- 27 pins -- this season.

Chenoweth broke the school single-season record for pins and wins and became only the second state champion from South Carroll. The first was Hank Burke in 1980.

The only loss by Chenoweth this season was a 5-4 decision to Northeast's Ron Katzenberger in the finals of the Broadneck tournament.

Chenoweth stunned the crowd Saturday in the final when he came within inches of being pinned before suddenly turning on Butts and pinning him.

South Carroll coach Pete Olson leaped to his feet in exhilaration and gave Chenoweth a bear hug.

"Mike simply pinned his way to the title," said Olson. "He was great. He had an unbelievable season for us."

Said Chenoweth: "I knew he [Butts] was strong and he came close to getting me. Now, my coach owes me some food."

Olson said he promised each one of his wrestlers a slice of cheese cake for each match they won in the state tournament.

Eighth-ranked Francis Scott Key had been pushed around twice by second-ranked North Carroll in dual meets this season but came through in a big way amid the pressure of a state tourney.

Key finished a surprising third (69.5 points) in the 1A-2A team standings while North Carroll (51 points) was fifth.

Damascus (93.5 points) nipped defending champion Northeast (93) for the 1A-2A championship.

For Owings, it was another dream-like

season as he took the top prize at 135 with a 30-1 record after winning it all last year at 130 with a 31-2 mark. Owings wrapped up the 135 title with a 5-0 decision over Dunbar's Hernandez Thompson.

"I know it's a good accomplishment to win two straight state titles but I expect to do more next season," said Owings.

For Beale, it was a great ending to a season in which he had a mid-season slump.

Beale left Northeast's Steve Smiddy in a state of shock by decisioning him 8-2 in the 140-pound final. Beale came into the tournament with a 24-6 record and didn't seem to stack up with the best.

But he was there when they handed out the first-place trophy with a 28-6 mark.

"I got my takedowns and that was enough to win it," said Beale. "It was a great season for Randy, Zac and me. We push each other all the time in practice and workouts on our own. That's why I think we won titles."

A delighted Key coach Bill Hyson said: "Chris has always done the intangibles and worked hard but he's been underrated. He's always had good skills but has made some mistakes in matches and it has cost him."

Yinger completed the Key run by doing what most everybody expected him to do -- win the 145-pound championship with a 10-3 decision over Ryan Hersey of Lackey.

Yinger wound up the season with a 33-1 record, giving him more wins than anybody in Carroll County.

Yinger and Owings will be back next season for a fourth season on the varsity. Beale has already put in his four outstanding years. "Their success goes beyond the three years they've been together for Key," said Hyson. "It goes back to their rec council days."

And how did North Carroll wrestling coach Dick Bauerlein take his team's continued troubles in the state tournament?

"He was prepared for it," said his wife Vicki.

"He is dealing with it. He took one look at the draw and knew North Carroll was in trouble. We won the regionals and wound up getting a tough draw for doing it. It's almost better not to win the regionals."

Bauerlein, who is retiring from coaching, said: "I'm relaxed. I'm OK. I've said all along we got the one we wanted when we won the state 1A-2A dual-meet title. This tournament was for the kids and they're the ones I feel sorry for."

North Carroll didn't place one wrestler in the finals.

Nothing could help Bauerlein out of that predicament. But his accomplishments can't be forgotten: a career dual-match record of 235-21, eight straight Carroll County tournament titles -- 11 of the last 12 -- eight regional titles and three second-place state finishes.

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