Last weekend proved to be a pretty big and successful one for two former Harford County high school wrestlers, Mathew Miller, a 2011 graduate of John Carroll, and Matt Cross, a 2008 graduate of Bel Air.
In Daytona Beach, Fla., Miller won the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championship. Competing on behalf of the U.S. Naval Academy's Prep School. Miller pinned four opponents and beat a fifth, 14-2, en route to the title at 184 pounds. He also earned Outstanding Wrestler honors for the event. The NCWA is comprised of collegiate programs from across the country, many of whom were forced to drop from the NCAA ranks to comply with Title 9 regulations. Miller won the National Preps Championships last season as a senior at John Carroll and will compete for the U.S. Naval Academy as a freshman next year.
Cross placed fifth at the NCAA Division 3 National Tournament in La Crosse, Wisc., as a senior at Messiah College. Cross was voted into the national tourney by the coaches in the Empire Conference after earning a second place conference finish and was unseeded in that tourney. Cross went 1-1 during the first night of action, defeating the seventh seed, Olivet's Trevor Tyler, 11-5, before falling to the second seed, Michael Schmitz, 4-3.
On the second day of the tournament Cross went 3-1. Cross won his first wrestle back, 3-2, over Dan Schiferi of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in a contested final second takedown attempt. Cross then won his next match easily, 9-3, over Jordan Richardson of Augustana. In the consolation semifinal, Cross lost 6-5 on the rideout bonus at the end of the match to Mathew Pfarr of St. John's-Minnesota. In his final match, Cross took down opponent, Coe's Scott King, on his head, ending the match. King was knocked out cold and could not continue, earning Cross the fifth place finish at 174 pounds and resulting in an All-American designation.
Cross was a state champion for Bel Air in 2008.