La Plata reigns

locals do well

N. Carroll, Old Mill are Nos. 2-3

Bowser, Saumenig, Muhammad, Macleod are among 4A-3A state champs

Class 4A-3A wrestling


COLLEGE PARK -- Charles County's La Plata (101 1/2 points) won the team title, but several local athletes captured state titles at the Class 4A-3A state wrestling championships at Cole Field House yesterday.

North Carroll finished second with 92 points, followed by Old Mill (85), Walt Whitman of Montgomery County (81) and Northern of Calvert County (72).

In a matchup of returning state champions, Arundel's Justin Bowser (38-1) had a surprisingly easy time defeating Zach Tolbert (26-2) from Magruder of Montgomery County, 12-2, at 125 pounds to win his second title at that weight. Tolbert wrestled in the 112-pound weight class last year.

"I actually didn't warm up well, but I turned it on toward the end," Bowser said. "Once I got rolling, I expected to tech him - I almost did."

Old Mill's Greg Saumenig (34-1), a runner-up last year at 103, defeated Edwin Randall of Northern-Calvert (37-4), 14-6, to win his first state title at 112 pounds. The victory by Saumenig, a junior, gives the Old Mill program a state-record 28th individual champion.

Razzaq Muhammad (30-1) of Parkville won his school's second state title ever (the first was by David Heath in 1998) when he defeated South River's Chris Elliott, 5-2, at 189 pounds. The match was very tight when Elliott (24-4) took a 3-1 lead on a reversal with 25 seconds left. Muhammad then executed two takedowns to win the title after a fifth-place finish last year.

"I really didn't expect to do this," said Muhammad, a senior. "It still hasn't sunk in yet. I just told myself to go out and wrestle my best, and whatever happens happens. I got the two takedowns late and it worked out."

After four trips to the tournament, things finally worked out for North Carroll's Tyler Macleod (37-3). The senior used his cradle hold twice to gain back points and build an 8-0 lead before settling for an 8-3 victory over Northern-Calvert's Paul Carter (33-6) at 140 pounds.

"Everybody tells me that they know about my cradle, but I got the chance to use it and he wasn't expecting it. Then it happened again," Macleod said. "I set this as my goal when the season started, and it feels great to accomplish it my senior year."

Macleod's win, the 126th of his career, in the final, eclipsed by two North Carroll's school record for victories by a wrestler.

Annapolis sophomore Bubby Graham (32-0) won his first state title, defeating Broadneck's Abe Hunter (35-7) for the fourth time this season, 8-0. The final, plus a win by Old Mill's Nic Box (25-15) in the third-place match, gave Anne Arundel County a sweep of the top three spots at 145.

Three local wrestlers came up short in their effort to win state titles. Broadneck's Mike Vakas (31-2) lost, 1-0, to Chopticon's Lucas Black (33-3) at 135 pounds, while Wilde Lake's Zach Brown (30-1) lost to defending state champion John Holloway (31-0), 10-7, at 215 pounds.

River Hill's Taylor Green (33-1) lost to Walt Whitman's Even Civan, 9-3, at 152 pounds. Civan (39-0), a junior, won his third consecutive state title. He's 120-0 in his three seasons.

Helen Maroulis (112) a freshman from Magruder, became the first girl to place in the state tournament. She won three matches to finish sixth.

"I've been in big tournaments before," said Maroulis, 14, who has wrestled since she was 7. "But I came in not knowing what to expect - not necessarily expecting to place, but definitely ready to work for it. I put a lot of stuff behind me to prepare for this."

Will Sharbaugh of Walt Whitman (103), Andy Lowy of Sherwood (119), Collin Leadbeter of Northern-Calvert (130), Brad Katzenberger of Damascus (160), Brent Stewart of Paint Branch (171) and Eric Jobe of La Plata (275) also won state titles.

Team scores: 1. La Plata 101 1/2 ; 2. North Carroll, 92; 3. Old Mill, 85; 4. Walt Whitman, 81; 5. Northern-Calvert, 72; 6. Arundel, 70; 7. Damascus, 69; 8. Magruder, 65; 9. Broadneck, 60; 10. South River, 56; 11. Sherwood, 46; 12. Paint Branch, 43; 13. Severna Park, 40.5; 14. Northwest, 37.5; 15. Chopticon, 37; 16. River Hill, 36.5, 17. Bowie, 36; 18. (tie) Huntington and Linganore, 34; 20. Leonardtown, 30.

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