Owings Mills is on top

wrestling regional championships

Eagles take 2A-1A North crown

Owings Mills is victorious in 4A-3A East

March 01, 2009|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker had tempered expectations entering the season.

The Eagles lost several top wrestlers to graduation, and he did not know what to expect from the group of returning underclassmen.

No. 8 Owings Mills showed its roster is as deep as any team's in the state by winning the Class 2A-1A North regional championship yesterday at Lansdowne.

FOR THE RECORD - A headline in yesterday's Sports section incorrectly stated the winner of the Class 4A-3A East high school wrestling championship. Old Mill won the 4A-3A East title. Owings Mills won the 2A-1A North title.

The Eagles also reached the finals in the state dual-meet championship last month.

Owings Mills finished first with 203 points, followed by Pikesville (154.5), Lansdowne (113), Overlea (107) and Eastern Tech (96).

It was the Eagles' 15th North regional crown, and they will send 11 wrestlers to the state championships that begin Friday in College Park.

"The kids had a good day today," said Pritzker, the state's all-time winningest coach.

"I think the secret to our team is our cohesiveness. Every kid on the team is best friends. Our kids hang out with each other, and that is the difference."

Kevin Dufour (103 pounds), Avi Friedman (112) and Julio Trujillo (275) each won titles.

Friedman, the state champion at 103 last season, is carrying a 30-0 record heading into the state tournament.

Pikesville also had an impressive showing. One week after defeating Earl Eppard of Lansdowne in the county championship, Ben Baker beat him again yesterday, 4-2, for the regional crown at 119 pounds.

Kion Wright (140), Corbin Ellis (152) and Josh Warren (215) also won titles for the Panthers.

"I'm so proud of my teammates," Baker said.

"Throughout the whole year, we've been coming together and working hard, and this is the culmination."

Loch Raven's Patrick Downey continued his impressive tear by winning at 160 and is 31-0.

Ben Rutkowski also won a championship for the Raiders at 189.

Erik Helmick, Dustin Callender and Lloyd Maith won titles for Overlea at 130, 135 and 171, respectively.

Baltimore City had champions with Teno Boone of Poly at 125 and Desean Harrington of W.E.B. Du Bois at 145.

Class 4A-3A East

No. 3 Old Mill kept its championship streak going last night, taking a third title in three weekends with an easy victory in the regional meet at South River.

The Patriots won the Class 4A-3A state duals two weekends ago and took the Anne Arundel County title Feb. 21. Old Mill then repeated as regional champions last night with 157 points, beating Stephen Decatur (109). No. 10 Reservoir (100.5) finished third.

"It definitely puts your confidence up," said Old Mill's Ron Vaughters, who won at 135 pounds. "But it doesn't mean we can slack off. We have to keep working hard."

Old Mill will be sending eight wrestlers to next weekend's state tournament at Maryland. The Patriots finished third last year.

Vaughters and heavyweight Aaron Hawkins, both of whom won at the county tournament, were the only Old Mill regional winners. Hawkins beat Dylan Drew of Stephen Decatur, 3-0, in their final. Vaughters topped Kenneth Green of South River, 11-0.

Willie Pumphrey (125) and the Sillaman twins, Thomas (160) and Michael (171), fell in the finals.

The other local winners were Centennial's Nathan Kraisser (103), Atholton's Kevin Beck (112), Broadneck's Houston Zemanski (119), Arundel's Joe Kidwell (125), Howard's Kris Dutt (130), Atholton's Bruce Steinel (135), Reservoir's Mike Mullens (152), Chesapeake's Chris Urps (160), Bel Air's Tom Kuegler (171) and Meade's Mwanza Walamulumba (215).

JEFF SEIDEL

Class 2A-1A South

Howard County wrestlers won 11 of 14 individual titles, led by team champion River Hill with six, in the regional tournament at Oakland Mills.

No. 4 River Hill, which qualified 11 wrestlers for the state tournament, routed the field with 217 points. Hammond (128) was second and Oakland Mills (125) third.

Hawks coach Brandon Lauer wasn't surprised by the strong Howard County showing. "It just reinforces the level of wrestling in the county," said Lauer, whose team won the county title last weekend. "It will be very exciting next weekend [at states] to see the county represented."

The most exciting match last night came at 171 pounds, during which No. 3 seed Scott Trench of River Hill defeated No. 1 seed Randy Farrell of Patuxent, 5-4, on an escape with three seconds left in the third overtime.

River Hill's Scott Mantua (112) and Cameron Kirby (119) repeated as champions, as did Glenelg's Brendan Conway at 125.

SANDRA MCKEE

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