Smaller Arundel field no contest for DeMatha Beckerman extends his win streak to 159

January 21, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

The blizzard of '96 forced three teams from Montgomery County and another from New Jersey to drop out, cutting last night's 13th annual Arundel Tournament to six teams.

And it was easy pickings for DeMatha (204.5 points), ranked No. 1 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, which placed all 13 wrestlers in the top four of their weight classes and had six champions to easily beat No. 12 Arundel (135) and No. 10 Northeast (108).

DeMatha's Todd Beckerman (125 pounds), a Crofton resident who is ranked No. 1 nationally, improved to 25-0 with his 12th pin and has 104 career pins and 31 career technical falls.

It was the national-record 38th career tournament title for Beckerman, who became the tournament's second four-time champ and can become the nation's first four-time National Prep champ.

Beckerman is a school-record 177-1, and his 159-bout winning streak is just nine shy of the national record.

Northeast's No. 3 Jay Queer (140, 13-1) scored a technical fall and his 11th pin of the year at 1:06 of his title bout.

His teammate, Chris Morrow, (135, 12-0) has eight pins but needed his third takedown in overtime to defeat Howard County runner-up John Nguyen of Oakland Mills, 8-6.

"I don't feel it was one of my better matches," said Morrow. "I got sloppy, but luckily, I got my head together and finished on a good note."

Arundel's Pat Ortman (103) edged DeMatha's Brian Baltrush, 5-2, Oakland Mills' Colin Meeks (160) blanked Annapolis' Brandt Hager, 5-0, and Annapolis' Rich Parshley (189) nipped Arundel's Ryan Markish, 6-4.

Arundel's No. 3 Isaac Haertel (152, 9-1), last year's 3A-4A state runner-up, fell behind 4-0 in an eventual 6-3 loss to DeMatha's National Prep champ Robert Alexander (153 career wins).

Haertel appeared to be near to turning Alexander for near-fall points when time expired.

"I felt like I was coming on, and if I had more time, maybe I could make a comeback. But he's a really tough kid, and it was like trying to turn a rock," said Haertel.

"I wasn't awake at the beginning of the match, and he's superior on his feet, so I didn't go out as ready as I should have been."

Northeast's regional champ T. R. Fleming (145, 11-2) lost, 7-3, on an overtime takedown to DeMatha's No. 2 Billy Phillips. Fleming's points were the result of technical violation calls against Phillips.

Oakland Mills' unheralded Justin Robbins (119) led 5-0, then nearly pinned DeMatha's No. 5 Wes Cummings in the first period of an eventual 11-9 overtime loss.

Robbins, a senior who bench presses 300 pounds, sent the bout into overtime on a takedown with two seconds left in regulation but was taken down seconds into overtime.

Oakland Mills finished fourth with 105 points and Annapolis was fifth with 76.

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