Q&A--Vince Taweel, Hammond, wrestling

February 28, 2007|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Reporter

Hammond wrestler Vince Taweel is 39-1 with 18 pins this season and 149-8 for his career heading into this weekend's Class 2A-1A state tournament at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House. The 135-pound senior is attempting to become the third wrestler in Maryland history to win four consecutive state titles.

If he is to be crowned a state champion again, Taweel must emerge victorious from a weight class that includes Rising Sun state champion Matt Jackson.

Taweel, 18, also is a four-time 2A-1A South regional champion and four-time Howard County titlist, Hammond's second wrestler to accomplish the latter.

He captured this season's Mount Mat Madness tournament crown, considered Maryland's toughest wrestling event, with a semifinal win over a Delaware state champion followed by a title-bout victory over Bryan Ortenzio, a fourth-place finisher in Pennsylvania last season.

Can you describe your feelings heading into states?

There is definitely a lot of pressure but nothing I haven't faced before. I have been picking up my training and am always thinking about potential matchups throughout the postseason.

How did you feel concerning Walt Whitman's Eren Civan, who, like you, entered the season attempting to win his fourth state title before suffering a career-ending injury?

I was very upset upon hearing about Eren's injury, and I wish him a speedy recovery so he can get right back on top of the podium in college. I have not talked with him since the injury, but my family and I sent him a card after we learned of his injury. I have thought about Eren a great deal and can use it as motivation to accomplish what he dreamed. I hope in some way to pay homage to his dedication to the sport.

In succession, what are your college considerations, your GPA and your preferences concerning a major field of study?

Maryland, Duke, American, Newberry and Princeton, in no specific order. I have a 3.82 weighted grade average. I'm undecided about a major, but possibly business, law or some social science.

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