No. 4 Old Mill edges Arundel to win 4A-3A East region title

No. 2 Hammond captures 2A-1A South

N. Carroll, Harford Tech top regions

Wrestling

High Schools

February 27, 2005

With four champs and one big upset, No. 4 Old Mill captured the Class 4A-3A East region yesterday at South River in a tournament that wasn't decided until the last bout.

Heavyweight Keith Jones scored a second-period pin over Bel Air's Aaron Strong that lifted the Patriots past No. 5 Arundel, 163.5 to 160.5. Old Mill and Arundel will both send nine wrestlers to next weekend's state championships.

The Patriots found a late opening to win the region when South River junior 189-pounder Chris Elliott pulled off the biggest tournament upset with a 9-6 decision over Arundel's previously undefeated senior Brad Pendock.

Elliott, who had lost all six of his previous matches against Pendock before yesterday, earned three back points as the second period expired to take a 6-5 lead and got another takedown in the third period to get the win.

Other region champs for Old Mill were 103-pounder Greg Saumenig; 140-pounder Nic Box, who came away with a 4-3 decision over Chesapeake-AA's Matt Willis in the second overtime; and 152-pounder Chris Volker.

"I'm proud of the guys - they wrestled real well, and we've got one more thing to accomplish," said Old Mill coach Jim Grim, looking ahead to next weekend's state tournament. "I sound like a broken record, been saying it all year, this was our night, but not our season. If we win that state championship next week, then it will be our season."

The region's other big upset came in the 135-pound class, where Annapolis freshman Bubby Graham upset Chesapeake senior Shane Fraser, 3-0.

- Glenn P. Graham

Class 2A-1A South

Ethan Cohen (119 pounds), Vince Taweel (130), A.J. Smith (152) and Steve Sessa (189) won titles, Bryce Harley (112), Zach Halper (125) and Jose Maldonado (135) were second, and Ryan McKevitt (140) and Jeff Nuss (145), third as No. 2 Hammond qualified nine wrestlers for next weekend's Class 2A-1A state tournament and dominated the South region tournament at Glenelg.

Hammond outscored runner-up Glenelg, 190 to 149, along with the rest of the 23-team field, eclipsing its previous mark of three regional champs. Hammond now goes after its fifth overall state crown. Hammond, winner of its third state duals crown two weeks ago, is trying to sweep both crowns for the first time since 1998.

Cohen (32-2) pinned all three opponents, while Taweel (33-1) required a takedown with 30 seconds left to edge Oakland Mills' Antonio Josiah, 3-2. Smith (33-2) scored seven takedowns in a 17-10 rout of Reservoir's Aaron Solomon, and Sessa (33-1) decisioned Poly's Terrence Green (31-3) for his crown.

Glenelg crowned Bichner brothers, Dan (103, 28-2) and Matt (160, 31-1), as well as Chris Stinnett (112, 27-4), the latter defeating Harley for the second time in as many weeks after losing three straight times.

Southern's No. 1 John Hickox (275) improved to 25-1 with three pins; Howard's Mingo Grant (215, 30-4) scored a takedown with 10 seconds left for a 3-1 win over Oakland Mills' Sean Kendig (11-2), his first in five tries.

Hammond junior Adam Blake (171) is out for the season after suffering a dislocated elbow. Blake's season ended early last year due to a broken collarbone.

- Lem Satterfield

Class 2A-1A North

Mark Taylor, Matt Kahl and Josh Taylor won individual titles and helped No. 8 Harford Tech capture its first regional title, edging No. 9 Owings Mills in the Class 2A-1A North region tournament at Owings Mills.

Harford Tech finished with 184 points, holding off host Owings Mills (167.5). The Cobras had been pointing toward getting past the longtime powerhouse all season and finally reached their goal.

"They practiced hard all week, and that's all we talked about," said Harford Tech coach Gary Siler. "This is behind us now, now we're shooting for [the states] next week."

Mark Taylor (103, 30-10), Kahl (145, 34-4) and Josh Taylor (160, 33-3) each scored impressive victories in the championship round. Mike Long (125) and Jeff Gardner (171) also finished second for the Cobras.

Owings Mills also scored three individual championships - from Ryan Nash (135, 30-4), Eric Vinores (140, 30-1) and Mike Kessler (152, 30-0).

This was Kessler's fourth straight region title, duplicating what his older brothers Steve and Gregg did several years ago. He's finished second, third and fourth in the state tournament and will be looking for his first crown next weekend.

"It's a great feeling [because] both of my brothers did it," Kessler said. "I felt like something I had to do, and I was glad I did."

- Jeff Seidel

Class 4A-3A North

River Hill's Tyler Green ran out of the River Hill gym, burst through the doors into the cold air and unleashed a banshee scream beneath a full moon.

In a night of several upsets at the Class 4A-3A North region tournament, none was bigger than Green's over defending state champion James Knox of Dulaney at 125 pounds.

"This was the biggest match of my life so far," said Green, a junior who said he wanted to avenge former teammate Vince Cina's loss to Knox in the state finals last year.

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