Gilman Duals have attracted some of nation's best wrestlers

HIGH SCHOOLS

January 25, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Saturday's Gilman Wrestling Duals will feature 1A-2A state champion Owings Mills and Gilman, the area's No. 2 and No. 3 teams, respectively, and also have a national flavor.

Locally, there is Owings Mills' two-time state champ Steve Kessler (145 pounds), who is top-ranked in his class at 14-0, and has a career state record of 86-0. Gilman's best wrestler is Greg Plitt (189), who is 14-0 with nine pins, including a 2-0 victory over last year's All-Metro 3A-4A state champ Joon Kim (Centennial).

DeMatha, ranked No. 1 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, features Crofton resident Todd Beckerman (125, 27-0, 12 pins), the nation's top-ranked wrestler in his weight class. The event also will boast Blair Academy, the nation's top-ranked team and featuring McDonogh transfer Dave Trudil (135).

Beckerman has 104 career pins, 31 career technical falls, and has won all 38 of the tournaments he's entered -- which is a national record. Beckerman also has a shot at being the nation's first four-time National Prep champ and is a school-record 179-1, with a 161-bout winning streak that is shy of the national record (177 straight) held by Lance Ellis of Indiana.

The duals schedule features: at 9:30 -- DeMatha/St. Mark's (Del.), Gilman/Woodberry Forest (Va.); Blair/Harrisburg (Pa). At 11:30, Owings Mills meets Woodberry Forest, Gilman gets DeMatha, and St. Mark's has Harrisburg.

At 1:30, DeMatha meets Owings Mills, Harrisburg meets Gilman, and Woodberry Forest meets Blair. And at 3:30, St. Mark's meets Blair, and Gilman meets Owings Mills.

Kimmett's milestone

Poly's 24-year boys basketball coach Bucky Kimmett will go for his 303rd career victory today against Douglass, and the Engineers' top scoring senior, John McLean, will be looking to add to his school-record 1,064 career points.

Kimmett reached the 300-win mark on Dec. 27 in a 73-62 decision over C. Milton Wright, and one day later, McLean scored 24 points in a win over Dulaney to reach 1,002 career points.

"It feels great," said Kimmett, 67. "But more than anything, it's been a privilege and a blessing to have worked with so many talented young men."

Junior sensation

Eastern Tech's junior heavyweight wrestler Jamie Blankenship is enjoying an excellent season at 12-0 with 10 pins, despite being only 205 pounds and often out-weighed by as many as 70 pounds.

In last weekend's Friends tournament, for example, Blankenship pinned Howard's fourth-ranked Brian Neal, a 270-pounder who won 27 matches last season.

It's a surprising improvement over Blankenship's efforts of a year ago, when he was third in the county at 189 but lost his first bout in the regions, 13-4, to Neal's older brother, Kenny, who still wrestles at 189.

Last year, Blankenship split regular-season bouts with Howard's Frank Tortella, who is ranked No. 5 at 171 this year and last weekend downed Pikesville's No. 2-ranked Chad Hipsley, 11-5.

"He's a tremendous kid who is one of our captains. A great leader and a good student," coach Joe Gast said.

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