Owings Mills lead the way with four champions, six finalists and 12 place-winners in the 2011 Baltimore County Wrestling Championships, helping the Eagles make their way to yet another county title.
Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker directed his squad to a 77-point victory, Saturday, dominating every other team in the county and earning individual champions in Warren Mack (112), Demetrius Johnson (130), Taran Carr (145) and Muhammed Ali (171).
“It feels great,” Pritzker said of the team’s most recent county title. “But at the same time, as a coach you’re a little sad. It’s great to win. But you want all 14 guys to place first.”
“Tournaments are like that. They’re nice to win but you still have a situation where a kid you really like or your favorite wrestler doesn’t win, so it’s bittersweet.”
Perry Hall had three finalists and two champions, being the only team, with Owings Mills, to crown multiple champions.
Hereford, Towson, Lansdowne, Pikesville and Milford Mill each had two finalist,s with all but Milford Mill coming away with one champion.
The evening’s most exciting match was the marquee match-up at 125, featuring 2010 state runner-up Shaun Murphy of Perry Hall against Hereford’s Matt Swiger.
Swiger came out firing on all cylinders in the final bout, hitting a big throw in the first period that gave him a lead he never relinquished. The match featured lots of action and lived up to its billing.
“I wanted to keep my cool,” Swiger said. “I never wrestled him in an official match before, and I didn’t worry about him being second in the state last year. I felt I could win if I stayed focused and didn’t lose control.
“It was fun wrestling him. We’ve known each other and been friends since junior league.”
Mack continued his perfect season in grand fashion, collecting a major decision and two falls in his 112-pound title run, including a fall in the finals over Carver A&T’s Sam Pellerito, hoping to prove to the state that he is a force to be reckoned with.
“I want to show that I’m one of the top guys in the state,” Mack said. “Last year, I broke my arm and didn’t have the chance to show how good I am at states. I feel like I have been dominating and I’ve been working hard.
The team title is nice because we came together after losing at state duals and it feels good.”
Parkville’s Zeke Elliott pulled what may have been a bigger upset than Swiger’s 125-pound title, beating Owings Mills favorite Larry Johnson, 13-9, in a barnburner for the 160-pound title.
Elliott beat Johnson, a state placer in 2010, in an exciting match that featured several big throws by the Knight’s wrestler.
“Johnson beat me at the Parkville tournament earlier this year,” Elliott said. “I didn’t let that affect me. I knew in my heart, and I was probably the only one, that I could beat him. It feels great to be a county champion.”
At 285, Drew Clark of Sparrows Point continued his quest to become a state champion when pinning Towson’s Jonathan Finnerty in the third period of their finals match.
“This is step one. My goal is to win states” Clark said. “I had a bad day last year, and lost to [Finnerty] at last year’s county tournament. This is my first county championship and it feels good.”
Hereford ranked second in the team scoring, pulling seven-points ahead of Perry hall, with Sparrows Point and Franklin finishing in fourth and fifth-place, respectively.
1-Owings Mills 234.5
3-Perry Hall 150.5
4-Sparrows Point 105
12-Eastern Tech 64
13-Milford Mill 55
16-New Town 34
17-Loch Raven 25
19-Carver A&T 20
21-Western STES 15
Baltimore County Results by Weightclass:
1st- #1 Zeke Salvo (Perry Hall) 9-1 #3 Anthony Genco (Hereford)
3rd- #4 Devin Cherry (Dulaney) 24-8 #2 Holden Taylor (Franklin)
5th- #9 Zach Shackelford (Pikesville) 6-4 #7 Sam Caravello (Eastern Tech)
1st- #1 Warren Mack (Owings Mills) F4:24 #2 Sam Pellerito (Carver A&T)
3rd- #6 Nick Montayne (Franklin) 7-6(ot) #3 Nathan Gregory (Hereford)
5th- #4 Jumul Noble (Pikesville) 3-2 #8 Jordan Rhudy (Perry Hall)
1st- #6 Greg McCoy (Lansdowne) F1:49 #8 Evan Layrea (Milford Mill)
3rd- #4 Patrick Hoffman (Dulaney) 8-2 #1 Cody Lewis (Sparrows Point)
5th- #9 Timmy Gunn (Hereford) Win by Default #7 Zach Shapiro (Owings Mills)
1st- #2 Matt Swiger (Hereford) 11-4 #1 Shaun Murphy (Perry Hall)
3rd- #4 Mike Persinger (Dulaney) 7-5 #3 Adriene Hazel (Owings Mills)
5th- #5 Christian Vasquez (Lansdowne) 6-3 #7 Matt Yankosky (Franklin)
1st- #1 Demetrius Johnson (Owings Mills) 6-3 3# Nick Payne (Lansdowne)
3rd- #2 Joe Ramsel (Hereford) F2:15 #4 Gurmail Singh (Dulaney)
5th- #10 Kolten Fodel (Eastern Tech) 3-2 #5 Nathan Kahla (Towson)
1st- #1 Ryan McTeer (Dulaney) 8-3 #2 Travon Wright (Pikesville)
3rd- #4 Hassan James (Towson) 4:50 #3 Teddy Cadd (Sparrows Point)
5th- #6 Terrance Nickerson (Catonsville) 3-2 #5 Brandon Hoffman (Owings Mills)
1st- #3 Jesse Garrett (Towson) 9-1 #4 Zaza Taruashvili (Owings Mills)
3rd- #2 Robin Paguia (Perry Hall) 13-5 #1 Shane Hammer (Sparrows Point)
5th- #6 Dustin Shackleford (Eastern Tech) Win by Default #9 Kyle Beard (Lansdowne)
1st- #1 Taran Carr (Owings Mills) 12-1 #2 Ilya Usik (Eastern Tech)
3rd- #5 Shane Blake (Franklin) 2-1 #4 Ramonte Wright (Towson)
5th- #7 Ted Dennis (Hereford) Win by Default #3 Theo DiPace (Catonsville)
1st- #1 Kion Wright (Pikesville) F1:45 #2 Malik Jones (New Town)
3rd- #3 Andrew Watson (Woodlawn) 7-1 #7 Lavon Pratt (Parkville)
5th- #4 Tucker Lutz (Franklin) F2:36 #12 Josh Hylton (Catonsville)
1st- #3 Zeke Elliott (Parkville) 13-9 #1 Larry Johnson (Owings Mills)
3rd- #5 Charles Smith (Woodlawn) 6-3 #8 Richard Lee (Hereford)
5th- #6 Mohamed Abdelmegid (Catonsville) Win by Default #2 Gary Clark (New Town)
1st- #1 Mohammed Ali (Owings Mills) F:47 #14 Ignacio Munoz (Franklin)
3rd- #3 Zach Myrick (Parkville) 7-2 #5 Patrick Clemons (Perry Hall)
5th- #12 Wole Olugbemi (Western STES) Win by Default #7 Nathaniel Gale (Eastern Tech)
1st- #1 Tyler Weedon (Catonsville) F1:07 #3 Coleman Eldridge (Milford Mill)
3rd- #4 James Krug (Sparrows Point) F:37 #12 Joe Lusco (Parkville)
5th- #2 Siraj Benu (Kenwood) 6-3(ot) #5 Kenny Nunez (Owings Mills)
1st- #2 Andrew Huber (Perry Hall) F:59 #1 Steve Barner (Overlea)
3rd- #3 Russelle Barnes (Owings Mills) F1:43 #7 Melvin Henry (Chesapeake-BC)
5th- #5 Ryne Schanberger (Loch Raven) Win by Defa
ult #4 Steve Walters (Parkville)
1st- #1 Andrew Clark (Sparrows Point) F4:18 #2 Jonathan Finnerty (Towson)
3rd- #3 Tim Ball (Hereford) 3-2 #6 Nick Newcomb (Overlea)
5th- #4 Darius Carroll (Owings Mills) 2-0 #5 Josh Strother (Parkville)