Winters Mill wrestlers on the rise under ex-McDaniel coach Lowe

Second-year program 5-3 as sport starts to take hold


January 06, 2004|By Jeff Seidel and Rich Scherr | Jeff Seidel and Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Winters Mill wrestling team had a busy, yet successful weekend that showed how the young Falcons are continuing to grow despite being in just their second year.

New coach John Lowe, who coached at McDaniel from 1994 to 2003, saw his Falcons go 5-2 at last weekend's busy Overlea Duals tournament. Winters Mill took third place in the eight-team meet - behind champion South River and runner-up Overlea - and improved to 5-3 on the season.

Winters Mill gave South River problems before losing, 40-39. The Falcons also dropped a 40-26 decision to Overlea, but Lowe said his team wrestled strongly in both matches.

"We have pretty good balance," Lowe said. "We didn't forfeit at all this weekend. The [coaches and wrestlers] really seem to be working toward a goal."

The Falcons have no seniors in the school and just four juniors in their starting lineup. Junior Juan Feliciano (215) had an impressive weekend, winning all seven of his matches and improving to 12-1 on the season.

Freshman Tim Crocken (103) went 6-1 this weekend and moved to 10-1 overall. Sophomore Chuck Crocken (160) - Tim's older brother - also had a 6-1 record in the tournament. He's now 10-2 this year.

Junior Ron Rose voluntarily bumped up to 171 and is 8-4 this season. Classmate Sean Henn (152) also has been strong, starting the season with a 10-3 mark.

Lowe took over after last season and tried several things to improve the sport's popularity at the school.

"At a new school you have a blank slate," Lowe said. "You can make this the wrestling school. You have to make wrestling cool. You have to make them want to do it year-round, and a lot of them worked on it in the spring and summer."

Lowe also re-arranged the team's schedule to give the Falcons more practice time and fewer matches in the early days of this season. Bad weather wiped three matches from the schedule, so the team had just one match and one tournament before the Overlea meet.

Winters Mill already turned in an impressive fifth-place finish at the 14-team Ray Oliver tournament at McDonogh last month and lost to Bowling Brook in its only other dual meet. The Falcons now get started on a busy schedule with three dates this week.

Getting defensive

While few expected the Liberty boys basketball team to get off to a 7-0 start this season, the primary reason for the Lions' success is certainly no secret.

The Eldersburg team entered this week's play leading the 22-team Monocacy Valley Athletic League in defense, allowing an average of slightly more than 43 points per game. That's five points better than second-place Tuscarora of Frederick County and 10 better than Liberty's nearest Carroll competitor, Westminster.

Offensively, Frank Sisolak leads the Lions at 15.1 points per game, followed by Andrew Martin and Justin Cunningham, who each average 10.3.

Liberty returns just one starter from last season, but features eight players from a junior varsity that went 18-2.

D. Williams takes off

When freshman Devon Williams started running for Towson Catholic this past fall, Owls coach Dion Hylton said she would be a runner to watch.

Williams left no doubts about that Saturday when she set a national freshman record for the 600-meter run at the Metropolitan Athletics Congress High School Classic indoor track meet at the 168th Street Armory in New York.

Her time of 1 minute, 30.22 seconds was the third best time ever recorded at that distance by a U.S. high school girl. The record of 1:29.69 was set three years ago by Stacey Ann Livingston of New York.

Williams' performance looks even more impressive when considering that she had never run the distance before.

"It was pretty surprising, the time I ran," said Williams. "I didn't think I would run that fast because I was a freshman and it was the first time I was running the 600.

"I was thinking these girls are ready to run. They were 12th-graders and 11th-graders and I was the only ninth-grader on the track. I wanted to run under 1:30 and break the record, but I think I ran a wonderful race," said the Parkville resident, who runs for the Philadelphia-based United Stars Track Club.

Williams is already well known on the national scene after winning the 2003 Junior Olympic title at 800 meters. On Dec. 14 in New York, she ran the 1,000 meters in 2:56.86, which, at the time, was this year's fastest time at that distance by a high school girl in the United States.

Record-setting debuts are becoming the norm for Williams, who won the Baltimore-Washington Invitational cross country meet in October by setting a course record of 19:13 on the 3.1-mile stretch at the Franciscan Friary in Ellicott City, Glenelg Country School's home course.

Cavs move to No. 1

Taking over the No. 1 ranking in The Sun's boys basketball Top 20 today, the Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers (9-1) face a grueling schedule over the next two weeks.

Having knocked off then-No. 1 St. Frances on Sunday, 79-67, to move from up from No. 5, the Cavaliers play seven games against ranked teams in 13 days.

The grind starts tonight at home against No. 8 Cardinal Gibbons (12-2) at 7 p.m.

Sun staff writers Katherine Dunn and Pat O'Malley contributed to this article.

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