Gaels crown four champions, place all 14 grapplers; McDonogh is second with four champions, Spalding’s Garrett Fisk named outstanding performer (VIDEO OF FINALS HERE!!!)

by Billy Loverocket

Mount St. Joseph (No. 1 in BillyB’s Wrestling World’s latest Maryland rankings) continued its MIAA wrestling reign, holding off a semifinal charge from McDonogh to win their second consecutive tournament title, Saturday at The Smith Center in Irvington.

The Gaels came into the action on Saturday morning at holding a 29.5-point lead over second place, and second-ranked, McDonogh School. Both squads advanced eight performers to the championship finals. The Eagles picked up bonus points in their wins, while the Gaels’ wins were lacking bonus points, which tightened the team race to just a 13-point lead for St. Joe after the semifinals, 230-217.

All six of the Gaels wrestlers that lost in the semis bounced back in a big way, winning their matches to reach the consolation finals and push the lead to 34, 263-229. The final round ended with both squads crowning four champions which essentially created a wash with the team scoring as St. Joe held that its 34-point lead to win its second consecutive MIAA title, 287-253.

“We added four new names to the school’s Wrestling Wall of Champions, (Chris) Barnabae, (Nathan) Porter, (Justin) Henry and (Austin) Stith,” Gaels Coach Harry Barnabae said. “We came up short in a couple of other matches, however, we are looking to improve on our performance at the MIS State Tournament next weekend.

“The MIAA’s have always proven to be a very tough tournament. It was on our list of goals this year and I am happy for the team’s accomplishment. Our team’s main focus is to repeat as MIS State Tournament Champions. Next weekend will definitely be a challenge, and hopefully we shall peak at the right time.”

St. Joe’s Chris Barnabae (top) pinned all four wrestlers he faced, in the first period, to win his first MIAA title.

No. 2 Barnabae (113 pounds) pinned his way through the tournament, with all four falls coming in the first period, including a 1 minute, 26 second fall of No. 15 Mitch Garretson (Archbishop Spalding). This was the sophomore’s first title after being a runner-up last year.

Porter (No. 5) like Barnabae, and the rest of St. Joe’s titlists, were runners-up last year. The sophomore captured the 126 championship with a workmanlike performance that resulted in a 5-2 victory over Spalding’s Sam Smirnoff (No. 15).

“It feels really good to finally get the win,” Porter added. “Last year was a little bit of a heart-breaker but it feels good to finally get one this year. He was doing a good job of slowing me down, but I still got takedowns. (I) love the fact that we won again, (we) gotta go into next week and win states.”

Nate Porter (right) also won his first MIAA title for the Gaels, topping Spalding’s Mitch Garrettson, 5-2, in the 126 final.

Henry, the state’s top ranked performer at 170, edged McDonogh’s Garrett Kappes (No. 6), 3-2, to capture his first MIAA crown.

“It feels good,” said Henry. “Last year I got second and my freshman year I got third. It feels good to come back and win it especially since it’s here (Mt. St. Joe). Garrett is pretty good, but I liked my motion a lot. I think that’s pretty much why I got him tired. I was moving a lot and using heavy hands on him a lot.”

St. Joe’s other No. 1 grappler put an exclamation mark on his senior season pinning No. 24 Jackson Bonitz (McDonogh) at 1:45 in the first period of their finals match. Stith joined Barnabae in pinning all his opponents. After toiling away in relative obscurity as a freshman and sophomore at Gaithersburg in Montgomery County, Stith transferred to St. Joe where he has improved immensely over the last two years, even placing seventh at the prestigious Beast of the East tournament in December.

“Last year when I lost the MIAA title I felt terrible,” Stith continued. “I promised myself I was gonna come back and make sure I was going to be a MIAA champ. I wasn’t going to end my high school career without it. I feel like I’ve been wrestling better and better each tournament this season. I feel like I’m definitely improving. I’m looking sharper and sharper. My confidence is obviously through the roof.”

Falling short in their championship bouts were No. 3 Connor Strong (132), No. 2 Seth Fillers (138), No. 3 David Schultz (182) and No. 3 Keagan Rill (220). Heavyweight Isaac Righter (No. 2) was third. Placing fourth for the Gaels were, Frankie Antonelli (106, No. 16), No. 8 Clement Woods (120), No. 9 Chris Roybal (145), Zach Phillips (No. 5, 152), and Jonathan Short (No. 8, 160).

McDonogh equaled St. Joe in champions (four), but their valiant effort still fell short. At 132, No. 2 Ray Kable defeated Strong, 3-1, to win his third MIAA title. It was also the junior’s second win over Strong this year. The first was of the overtime variety, 3-1, in their dual meet.

No. 3 Dominic Solis (160) exacted revenge by downing No. 2 Dylan Blau (St. Paul’s School), 9-2. Blau beat Solis 3-1 in a dual meet two weeks ago.

Parker Robinson (220, No. 4) also avenged an earlier loss with his finals victory. The senior won an overtime thriller with St. Joe’s Rill, 3-1. Robinson and Rill have cultivated a fierce rivalry over the last three seasons, with the latest result evening them up at four wins apiece.

PJ Mustipher’s title victory came the way most of his wins do, with a pin. The senior, who is ranked third in the state, planted John Carroll’s Druw Van Der Werff (No. 11) in 1:02 to win his second MIAA gold. In the semifinals, Van Der Werff surprised St. Joe’s Righter with a 19 second pin. Righter pinned Van Der Werff in the final dual of the season just last week.

Taking home silver for the Eagles were No. 2 Cooper Flynn (106), Harrison Trahan (No. 8, 145), Kappes, and Bonitz. No. 5 Jack Wimmer was third at 182. Sean Scott (126, No. 14) placed fourth, and No. 19 Matt Lawrence landed in the fifth slot at 120lbs.

St. Paul’s equaled St. Joe and McDonogh with four champions, which landed them in third place with 201.5 points.

Will Guida won a battle of the state’s top two 106-pounderss, 1-0, over the Flynn. Guida also downed Flynn by the same score two weeks ago.

At 120, Kurt McHenry (No. 1 at 113) captured his third crown with a 10-4 decision of Spalding’s PJ Truntich, 10-4. Truntich is one of the few Maryland wrestlers who can hang tough with the two-time world champion. As freshmen, McHenry beat Truntich three times (5-3, 4-3, and 2-1).

No. 1 Imran Heard’s all-out pedal-to-the-metal style of wrestling features big action and big moves. The senior outpaced Fillers, 17-7, for the 138 gold. The title was Heard’s second straight.

Jack Parr (No. 2 at 195) also became a two-time champion when he edged Schultz, 1-0. The junior was second as a freshman.

Spalding’s Garrett Fisk (No. 7), turned heads with his showing. Fisk, the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler, came in as the fourth seed and picked off the No. 1 152-pounder in the state, Curley’s Josh Laubach, 7-3, in the semifinals. For an encore, the junior pitched a shutout versus LaVeck, 6-0.

“I had a tough match against Laubach and I was able to take him down,” Fisk said. “(I) moved on to LaVeck who I had lost to a couple times this season, but I was able to pull that out. (Winning Outstanding Wrestler) feels good.”

Teammate Ryan Garretson (No. 3) saw his career come full circle with his 12-6 win over Trahan. The Cavalier won a MIAA crown as a freshman and made it back to the top of the podium in his senior season.

MIAA Wrestling Championship

at Mount St. Joseph

Team Scores:
1. Mount St. Joseph, 287
2. McDonogh School, 253
3. St. Paul’s School, 201.5
4. Archbishop Spalding, 173.5
5. Loyola Blakefield, 144
6. Gilman School, 78
7. John Carroll School, 68
8. Archbishop Curley, 67
9. Calvert Hall College, 49
10. Mount Carmel, 47
11. St. Vincent Pallotti, 45
12. Boys’ Latin School, 38
12. St. Mary’s, 38
14. Friends School, 29
15. Severn School, 23.5
16. Gerstell Academy, 11
17. Glenelg Country School, 8

Championship – Wil Guida (St. Paul’s) DEC Cooper Flynn (McDonogh), 1-0
3rd – Andy Weinstein (Gilman) DEC Frankie Antonelli (Mount St. Joseph), 3-2
5th – Staki Gourgoulianis (John Carroll) F Zach O’brocki (Calvert Hall), 3:45

Championship – Chris Barnabae (Mount St. Joseph) F Mitch Garretson (Spalding), 1:26
3rd – Tyler Trout (Mount Carmel) F Adrian Triquero (Curley), 2:11
5th – Earl Chambers (St. Mary’s) MD Brett Stoll (Loyola), 10-0

Championship – Kurt Mchenry (St. Paul’s) DEC Paul Truntich (Spalding), 10-4
3rd – Deshawn Strand (Loyola) DEC Clement Woods (Mount St. Joseph), 6-3
5th – Matt Lawrence (McDonogh) F Sam Bruce (Severn), 1:25

Championship – Nathan Porter (Mount St. Joseph) DEC Sam Smirnoff (Spalding), 5-2
3rd – Gene Quodala (St. Paul’s) F Sean Scott (McDonogh), 4:18
5th – Billy Trout (Mount Carmel) DEC Ryan Eby (Loyola), 7-2

Championship – Ray Kable (McDonogh) DEC Connor Strong (Mount St. Joseph), 3-1
3rd – Rick Couch (Spalding) DEC Nick Dintino (St. Paul’s), 8-4
5th – Matt Mitrega (John Carroll) F Ryan Thomas (Loyola), 2:27

Championship – Imran Heard (St. Paul’s) MD Seth Fillers (Mount St. Joseph), 17-7
3rd – Josh Aybar (Loyola) MD Nick Paolucci (Spalding), 10-2
5th – Brad Labella (Severn) F Rami Tadros (Gerstell), 2:35

Championship – Ryan Garretson (Spalding) DEC Harrison Trahan (McDonogh), 12-6
3rd – Max Hammond (St. Paul’s) DEC Christopher Roybal (Mount St. Joseph), 3-0
5th – Newt Davis (Pallotti) DEC Vincent Thuman (Calvert Hall), 11-4

Championship – Garrett Fisk (Spalding) DEC Alex Laveck (McDonogh), 6-0
3rd – Joshua Laubach (Curley) M FOR Zach Phillips (Mount St. Joseph)
5th – Everette McDuffie (St. Paul’s) DEC Cole Brown (Gilman), 13-6

Championship –  Dominic Solis (McDonogh) DEC Dylan Blau (St. Paul’s), 9-2
3rd – Taylor Randolph (Loyola) DEC Jonathan Short (Mount St. Joseph), 4-1
5th – Mikey Neal (Calvert Hall) FOR Tyler Savage (Spalding)

Championship – Justin Henry (Mount St. Joseph) DEC Garrett Kappes (McDonogh), 3-2
3rd – Dustin Radford (Spalding) F Jeremy Cranston (Gilman), 4:23
5th – Jason Litvak (Loyola) DEC Jerry Rosser (John Carroll), 8-1

Championship – Jack Parr (St. Pauls) DEC David Schultz (Mount St. Joseph), 1-0
3rd – Jack Wimmer (McDonogh) DEC Blake Corum (Pallotti), 3-2
5th – Ian Takas (Loyola) DEC Kevonte Beard (Gilman), 6-1 SV

Championship – Austin Stith (Mount St. Joseph) F Jackson Bonitz (McDonogh), 1:45
3rd Jarrell Mayo (Calvert Hall) DEC Alex Slodzinski (Gilman), 6-2
5th Jake Wright (Loyola) F Mike Morris (Pallotti), 4:48

Championship – Parker Robinson (McDonogh) DEC Keegan Rill (Mount St. Joseph), 3-1 SV
3rd – Skyler Kessenich (Friends) DEC Mac Alban (Boys’ Latin), 7-0
5th – Will Maigetter (Loyola) F Thomas Kerner (St. Marys), :50

Championship – PJ Mustipher (McDonogh) F Druw Van der werff (John Carroll), 1:02
3rd – Isaac Righter (Mount St. Joseph) F Bennett Traurig (Loyola), 1:55
5th – Jerold Gaither (Mount  Carmel) FOR Isaiah McGirt (Curley)


106 – Guida vs. Flynn

113 – Barnabae vs. Mitch Garretson

120 – McHenry vs. Truntich

126 – Porter vs. Smirnoff

132 – Kable vs. Strong

138 – Heard vs. Fillers

145 – Ryan Garretson vs. Trahan

152 – Fisk vs. LaVeck

160 – Solis vs. Blau

170 – Henry vs. Kappes

182 – Parr vs. Schultz

195 – Stith vs. Bonitz

220 – Robinson vs. Rill

285 – Mustipher vs. Van Der Werff