For the second straight year, Altoona (Pa.), with two champs among eight top-four finishers, beat several of Maryland's best wrestling programs at last night's 18th annual Annapolis High Invitational Tournament.
Runner-up in the 14-team event was top-ranked, private schools state champ Mount St. Joseph (137.5 to Altoona's 174.5). The Gaels' Jake Lissau (135 pounds) and Tyran Dungee (160), both 8-0, added Annapolis to the crowns they won at Curley last weekend.
National Prep champ DeMatha (128.5, three champs) was third, and No. 7 Broadneck (116.5) fourth, with champions Dave DeSabla (103) and Lonnie Donner (130) both at 4-0.
Lissau hammered Westminster's previously unbeaten Jay Andrews, 16-0, and Dungee's 7-3 win dethroned Altoona's previously unbeaten Rob Horon. A week earlier, Dungee downed DeMatha's National Prep champ Rob Alexander by the same score.
"I guess it was a consolation to beat one of their [Altoona's] guys," said Dungee, a senior, who was fighting off a cold. "My coach told me to just go out there for myself, and he was tough and hard to hold down."
Freshman DeSabla registered a pin and two decisions, including a 6-2 semifinal upset of Calvert Hall's previously unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Chris Hanlon. DeSabla, a product of the Arden Attacker's junior league program, earned a 10-7 title-match win over St. Benedict's previously unbeaten Dave Dyer (5-1) which he attributed to a summer of freestyle wrestling.
Broadneck's other champ, county and region runner-up Donner, held off one of Altoona's best wrestlers, Brett Fye (3-1, third districts), by 6-4. In his 13-4 semifinal win over Francis Scott Key's county and region champ Ryan Etzler, Donner scored nine near-fall points.
For third-ranked Gilman (91, seventh), Greg Plitt (189, 3-0) built a 9-0 lead before decking DeMatha's Kris Edwards.
A 28-second pin by St. Mary's Josh White (171, 7-1) made him only the Saints' fourth wrestler to win at Annapolis.
But Altoona's Jeremy Hite (4-0) scored an overtime takedown to beat Southern's two-time state champ Tyrone Neal (140, 3-1), 3-1, a loss that ended Neal's winning streak at 55 and prevented him from winning his third Annapolis crown.
"I didn't wrestle my best. I had some openings and just didn't take them," said Neal. "It's a tough loss."
DeMatha's Nebraska-bound Crofton resident Todd Beckerman (125, 8-0) became the tournament's first four-time champ, scoring 10 near-fall points in his 27th career technical fall victory, over Broadneck's region champ Todd Betz (3-1).
It was Beckerman's 32nd career tournament title, bringing him within two of the national record as he continues his quest to become the country's first four-time National Prep champ.
Beckerman also improved to a school-record 160-1 (96 pins), including a 142-bout winning streak. His only loss, which he later avenged, came 8-7, as a freshman to Northeast's three-time state champ Marty Kusick.