Owls' shifts pay off with county crown

Wins at 145, 160 and 171 help Westminster top South Carroll, 39-19

High Schools


February 01, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Two of Westminster's top wrestlers failed to make weight before last night's critical match at South Carroll. One was an accident, the other was not.

Sophomore 103-pounder Justin Hughes' failure forced the Owls to forfeit that bout. But in the case of 145-pounder Travis Mohlhenrich, there was more to it.

Mohlhenrich purposely weighed in heavy so he could bump up to 160 pounds and face South Carroll sophomore Andrew Winfield. Nick Burger, who usually wrestles at 160, moved up to 171, and Aaron Correa filled in at 145.

Although the shift prevented the much-anticipated Burger-Winfield match at 160, the Owls won all three of those matches and earned a 39-19 victory to take the Carroll County title.

"That was the plan," Mohlhenrich said. "We didn't want it to look like it was on purpose. It wasn't that we didn't think Burger could beat Winfield. He wasn't ducking him. It was so that we were sure we could get a pin at 171. We thought that was best for the team."

The win put the Owls (11-2, 6-0 Central Maryland Conference, 4-0 Carroll County) in position to win the CMC with a victory tonight against Linganore. The Owls must also win tonight to stay in contention for a spot in the 4A-3A state dual-meet tournament.

South Carroll (12-2, 6-1, 3-1), which was handed a second chance this week after its 39-24 loss to North Carroll was ruled a forfeit victory, is all but mathematically eliminated from the tournament.

Westminster won the opening four and seven of the first eight bouts, as Paul Latane defeated Scott Sunderlin, 3-1, at 130; Jason Brown pinned Everett Thrift in 1:56 at 135; Warren Strevig downed Greg Eaton, 11-6, at 140; and Correa pinned Justin Rutledge in 3:05 at 145 to put the Owls ahead 18-0.

South Carroll sophomore Tim Ferguson defeated Joe Dell, 12-4, at 152, before Mohlhenrich faced Winfield at 160. Mohlhenrich scored a 9-5 victory, which Burger followed with a pin over senior Eric Waugh at 171 in 2:38.

"I'm pretty disappointed, but being a captain I've got to go with whatever is going to help the team out," Burger said about not wrestling Winfield. "I'm happy with a win for the team no matter what. I much would have rather had Winfield, because it was so talked up. He beat me last year when I had a bad knee, and I want to see what would happen when we're both healthy and ready to go."

At 189, Brendan Bryne followed Burger with a thrilling, come-from-behind 11-9 overtime victory, in which he sent the match to an extra period with a takedown in the final seconds.

His win put the Owls ahead 30-4, and after South Carroll closed within 30-19 on a pin by Jake Creech at heavyweight, a forfeit win by Andrew Gold at 103 and a 7-4 victory by Tom Wheeler over Josh Corkran at 112, Westminster clinched the match at 119.

Sophomore Donnie Meyers' 2-1 triumph over Luke McLeod put the Owls ahead 33-19 with one match remaining.

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