McDonogh Eagles

McDonogh heavyweight Roman Braglio, front, control's Gilman's Brian Gaia in the MIAA tournament at Mount St. Joe Saturday on his way to a first-period pin. (staff photo, Jen Rynda / February 10, 2012)

McDonogh senior Roman Braglio pinned his way to the heavyweight championship in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association wrestling tournament Saturday at Mount St. Joseph, leading the Eagles to their fifth team title since 2002.

Of the 14 weight classes, McDonogh had wrestlers in eight of the finals. Along with Braglio, junior Xavi Ramos (132 pounds) and sophomores Jack Clark (145) and Toby Hague (160) won titles for the No. 1 Eagles.

That allowed McDonogh (228.5 points) dethrone defending champion Archbishop Spalding (192.5) in the two-day tournament.

"I don't think I have ever seen a deeper, tougher MIAA tournament," Eagles coach Pete Welch said. "It seemed like every weight was stacked and had three or four really good kids battling. I think its says a lot about our kids, since we are still a relatively young group."

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St. Paul's (186.5) finished third and tied McDonogh with four individual champions — sophomore Jack Mutchnik (120), senior Pete Galli (152) and brothers Ryan Friedman (106), a freshmen, and Eric Friedman (126), a senior.

Eric Friedman (42-6) was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler after scoring a 13-2 decision over Annapolis Area Christian School's Mathew Linehan in the final. The University of Pennsylvania recruit became only the fifth wrestler to capture four MIAA championships over a career since 1994.

With a career record of 173-22, he will be gunning for his fourth straight Independent Schools State Tournament title Saturday at McDonogh.

St. Paul's coach Jay Braunstein said Friedman hasn't missed a match this season despite a partially torn medial collaterial ligament in his knee.

"His sturdiness really impresses me," Braunstein said. "He has wrestled in two of these championships hurt. He is that strong. At the beginning of the year, he blew out his knee."

Braglio, who will attend Maryland on a football scholarship, recorded three pins to capture his second straight MIAA title.

He finished Gilman's Brian Gaia, who has signed to play football at Penn State, in 1 minute, 38 seconds in the final.

"Roman was giving up some size, and he just went after him," Welch said. "He just has been a rock for us for four years and really matured into a wrestler."

Clark (39-5) won his second straight MIAA title with a 22-7 decision over Connor Wagh of St. Paul's.

Other individual area champions included Mount St. Joseph senior Tyler Rill (170) and Gilman junior Shane Cockerille (195).

MIAA tournament

Final team scores

1. McDonogh (228.5)

2. Arcbishop Spalding (192.5)

3. St. Paul's (186.5)

4. Archbishop Curley (158)