Area wrestlers bring home gold at states

North County's Ballard among 10 area wrestlers who win first titles

March 06, 2012|By Sandra McKee | The Baltimore Sun

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association wrestling tournament last weekend turned up one four-time champion (Nathan Kraisser of Centennial at 126) and four, two-time champs  -- La Plata's Josh Llopez (152), Chesapeake-AA's Alex Rice (145), Winston Churchill's Hunter Sutton (138) and Arundel's Tyler Goodwin (132).

But some of the most excited competitors were those winning titles for the first time. The surrounding area produced 10 of those.

North County Brandon Ballard (195) gave the Knights their only champion, and he did it in style. The senior scored a pin in his first match, followed it with a tech fall in the second round, earned a major decision against the No. 1 seed in the third and then got another major decision to win the championship. He finishes the season 33-2.

No. 3 River Hill's Jason Johnson (285), another senior, and Broadneck freshman Cameron Harrell (120) were also their teams' only champions in Class 4A-3A. Johnson finisihes his senior season, 46-2, while Harrell winds up 32-2. Both upset No. 1 seeds to reach the finals.

Meanwhile, No. 9 Perry Hall brought home two titlists. Zeke Salvo (106), who was tops in 4A-3A all season and Matt Green (220), who was injured most of the season and wrestled just seven matches -- winning all of the them -- before the state tournament.

Salvo, a sophomore, is 38-2, and Green, a junior, is 11-0.

In Class 2A-1A,  sophomore Tejon Anthony (120), was not only Western Tech's only champ this season, he is the Wolverines' first champion ever. He earned the title by upsetting Oakland Mills' three-time champ Tony Farace by one point in the semifinals and then winning the final with a 7-0 shutout. He finishes 35-4.

Fallston's Zack Cullison won the title at 132 with a 6-5 decision, finishing his season, 36-1.

Speaking of perfection, No. 2 Winters Mill (32-) won the county, region, state dual tournament and then the state individual bracket tournament title Saturday. Junior Wes Cook (138) earned the team's only individual state title in a 5-4 decision that allowed him to finish his season 44-3.

No. 12 South Carroll's Willie Reiter came in as the No. 1 seed in the 170-pound class and left the champion with a 44-1 season record.

And Sean Twigg closed out the action at 285, completing a 37-5 season by winning his first title as a junior for No. 11 Glenelg.

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