Lauer, Edwards All-Americans

NCAA tourney showings earn elite status

4 from state produce 11-9 mark

College Wrestling

March 23, 2003|By Luke Broadwater | Luke Broadwater,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - West Virginia's Brandon Lauer and Navy's Frank Edwards grew up only 15 minutes apart along Route 108 in Maryland. In elementary school, they wrestled at the same time in the Capital Area Wrestling League. As seniors in high school, both won their third state titles on the same day.

Yesterday, the Maryland natives were together again in NCAA Division I wrestling tournament's "Parade of Champions," this time as college wrestling All-Americans.

Edwards (Sherwood High School) placed seventh at 165 pounds and Lauer (River Hill) was eighth at 133.

A junior, Edwards used a defensive style in a 3-0 win over Missouri's Tyron Woodley, who was ranked No. 6 in the country. It was Edwards' fifth victory of the tournament. Among the top wrestlers he defeated were No. 8 Noel Thompson (Hofstra), No. 10 Levi Prevost (Wyoming) and No. 14 Oscar Santiago (Purdue).

Lauer, noticeably in pain from a knee injury, dropped his final match, 4-0, to North Carolina's Evan Sola. Lauer, a sophomore who reached the tournament's quarterfinals, won three matches, including victories over No. 5 Zach Roberson (Iowa State) and No. 13 Tom Clum (Wisconsin).

"I'm disappointed. I wanted to go out with a win," he said. "But once I get a chance for this to sink in, I'll be like, `Yeah, I did it [gaining All-America status].' "

Later, he couldn't keep himself from smiling during the parade in front of 16,436 fans.

The University of Maryland's Jake Stork (184 pounds) was just one match away from becoming an All-American.

On Friday, Stork won, 11-5, over Tony D'Amico of Boise State and scored a 16-1 technical fall over Dave Colabella of James Madison. He then lost, 17-6, to Cornell's Clint Wattenburg.

The performance of Maryland wrestlers was, as a whole, an improvement over last year, when four state natives produced a win-loss record of 3-8, with none in the All-American round.

This year, thanks to the efforts of Lauer, Edwards, North Carolina's Jim O'Connor (Glenelg) and Columbia's Matt Palmer (Bullis/Blair Academy, N.J.), Maryland natives had a combined record of 11-9.

Maryland was tied for 11th out of 50 states in number of All-Americans, the category traditionally used by wrestling fans to judge a state's strength in the sport. Pennsylvania led with 14 All-Americans, followed by Oklahoma and Ohio with six each.

Oklahoma State, where Maryland's Ryan Davis (McDonogh/Blair) and Sam Lewnes (Mount St. Joseph) will wrestle next year, won the team title with 143 points. Minnesota was second with 104.5 points.

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