St. Benedict's holds off Northeast for Arundel Invitational title @

January 15, 1995|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Though its nine-team field is lean in comparison to some larger tournaments, the number of quality wrestlers always has the Arundel Invitational among the state's toughest.

Last night's featured 12 state-ranked performers, with St. Benedict's (N.J.), last year's National Prep runner-up, winning it, 145.5-131.5, over No. 4 Northeast, last year's 1A-2A state runner-up.

Fans packed the stands for the marquee bout in which DeMatha's two-time National Prep champ Todd Beckerman (26-0) took on two-time state champ Mike Kusick of Northeast at 119 pounds.

Beckerman, of Crofton, ranked No. 1 in the state, broke a 2-2 tie on a takedown with 23 seconds left to edge Kusick, 4-3.

Kusick (14-1), ranked No. 2, led, 2-1, after an escape 27 seconds into the third period but was penalized for stalling with 20 seconds left in the bout to create the 2-2 tie.

"I didn't let the hype get to me. I was staying focused, so I didn't really talk to many people beforehand," said Beckerman, who last year avenged the only loss of his 126-1 career to Mike's twin, Marty.

"This isn't the preps, but I prepared all week like it was. He's a rough wrestler."

Mike's twin, Marty (15-0), also a two-time state champ but ranked No. 1 in Maryland, used three takedowns and three back points in a 9-1 decision over Quince Orchard's sixth-ranked Rod Garcia (15-3) in a 112-pound match that showed how intensity and quickness can overcome muscle.

And in a 135-pound bout that featured 11 reversals Northeast's Jay Queer (15-1) won, 13-2, over Oakland Mills' Matt Sutton (14-4). Sutton was last year's runner-up.

St. Benedict's Mike DiPiano (160) won for the second straight year, and Terrence Eason (Hwt.) beat Oakland Mills' Brian Howard, 8-5.

Northeast lost two key title bouts to St. Benedict's opponents as Carlos Rosado (125) defeated Glen Lail, who was second for the second straight year, 6-2, and Dan Geleta (171) defeated Ron Katzenberger, 9-4.

Oakland Mills' two-time Howard County champ Wade Mitchell (130, 16-0), ranked No. 3 in the state, ground out a 5-0 decision over Churchill's Randy Hsia to win his second straight title.

Oakland Mills' unheralded Casey Moffett (140, 15-2), nearly upset DeMatha's No. 2-ranked Brian Page (22-4). Page, who trailed, 2-0, early, needed two back points with 20 seconds left to win, 4-2.

Arundel's Isaac Haertel (145, 18-1) lost his title bout, 10-4, to DeMatha's fourth-ranked Robert Alexander after scoring a 10-8 semifinal upset over St. Benedict's Gerald Bustamante, who was third in last year's National Preps.

Arundel's defending state champ Mark Chesla (152, 17-2), dropped a 10-4 decision to DeMatha's third-ranked Matt Allman after having upset St. Benedict's Vinnie Almeida, also third in last year's preps.

"It's never a sure thing here and you just never know when there's going to be an upset, whether in the quarters, semis or finals," said Arundel coach and tournament director Buddy Hepfer.

"I'm always impressed with the match-ups we get here. It's hard work, but the competition makes it all worthwhile."

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