Old Mill and Owings Mills are Maryland's dominant wrestling programs, having combined for 12 state tournament crowns as this weekend's event makes its inaugural appearance at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.
Old Mill (Class 4A-3A) won its state-record seventh tournament title last season - its first under Jim Grim - while Owings Mills (2A-1A) captured its fifth under Guy Pritzker, who is in his 22nd year as the only coach the Eagles have had.
If both teams are successful, it will be the fourth time the programs have won championships in the same season. Both the Patriots, winners of six titles under Mike Hampe, and the Eagles won titles in 1991, 1992 and in 1995.
Someone has to lose
South Carroll's Andrew Winfield (25-0), Owings Mills' Eric Fishel (36-0) and Poly's Matthew Oakley (22-0) are all unbeaten as they go after the 2A-1A's 171-pound state title.
Winfield was a state runner-up at 160 pounds on the 4A-3A side last season, and Oakley a runner-up at 160 in 2A-1A. Fishel was third in 2A-1A states last year at 171.
Other area wrestlers with unbeaten records heading into this weekend are:
Francis Scott Key's Reuben Gill (112, 23-0), Chesapeake-AA's Corey Bowers (119, 28-0), Old Mill's Doug West (130, 32-0), Owings Mills' Sasha Binder (140, 33-0), Annapolis' Andrew Smith (145, 28-0), Kenwood's Mason Krumholtz (145, 33-0), Liberty's Chris De Vilbiss (152, 31-0), Patterson's Thomas Smith (189, 20-0), Towson's Scott Steele (189, 29-0), Oakland Mills' Sean Kendig (215, 29-0) and Joppatowne's Jeremy Navarre (heavyweight, 33-0).
Going for four in row
Churchill senior Danny April (135) can become only the third wrestler to win four state titles. April defeated Overlea's Kyle Krumholtz (then at Kenwood), 6-5, at 103, Perry Hall's Jim Van Daniker, 6-4, at 112, and Old Mill's West, 3-2, at 125, for his crowns.
Aberdeen's Matt Slutzky and Owings Mills' Steve Kessler are the state's only four-time winners.
What: 35th annual MPSSAA wrestling tournaments (4A-3A and 2A-1A).
Where: University of Maryland's Cole Field House.
When: Today and tomorrow.
Schedule: Today - preliminary round, 2:30; quarterfinal round, 6; consolation preliminary round, 8. Tomorrow - consolation preliminary round, 9:30; semifinal rounds, 11; consolation quarterfinal round, 1; consolation semifinal round, 2; consolation finals, 4; championship finals, 6:30.
Admission: All-sessions pass $25, one-day pass $15, Saturday finals $8, 6-and-under free.