It was a thrilling day for the Western Tech wrestling team at the Baltimore County championship meet as seniors Tejon Anthony and Austin Harrison captured titles.
Anthony won his third straight county crown and captured his 103rd career victory, while Harrison notched his 100th career win after decking Eastern Tech’s Ian Cheveral with four seconds left in the third period of his 170-pound bout.
Anthony (28-2) is on a mission to get back to where he was two seasons ago.
“He won the triple crown as a sophomore: counties, regionals and states and it only humbled him,” Western Tech coach Juan Solero said. “It's been his motivation this year because he wants to get to the top of the podium again.”
Anthony won the county title with a convincing 13-4 victory over Towson’s Danny Pittas in the 138-pound weight class, and he improved his career record to 103-12.
“I want to be back on the top of the podium,” said Anthony, who scored two takedowns in the first period and was never threatened. “I always want to get that first score.”
He has goals in the regionals and states.
“I want to just get better and fix the small things that I know I do well and hopefully be wrestling at the next level,” said Anthony, who hopes to wrestle at George Mason University next year.
His senior classmate, Harrison, was confident he would get his 100th career win even though his match was tied 2-2 entering the third period.
“I knew I was going to win. It was just a matter of how,” said Harrison, who took a 4-2 lead when he got two near-fall points with 1:03 left and he ended it with four seconds left. “I got him with a cross-face cradle, my signature move.”
It was the second time this season he has beaten Chiveral with the same pin combination and the third time he has beaten him.
Neecho Freeman (220) finished third and Angelo Payne (160) was sixth for the Wolverines, who placed 10th in the tournament won by Franklin.
Catonsville placed sixth in the team standings and they were led by senior Calloway Lee (220) and sophomore Andrew Southwell (113), who both lost in the finals.
Lee lost in the most dramatic final of the evening when he succumbed to Hereford’s Brock Turnbaugh in sudden death after two overtimes.
“It’s a coin toss, Catonsville coach Eric Warm said. “Whoever wins the coin toss and scores first gets choice in the ride out time. Two of his three losses have been determined by a coin toss.”
Lee is 33-3 this season and lost in the seventh period after the match was tied at 2-2 after the first one-minute overtime and tied at 3-3 after the grapplers traded escapes in the net two 30-second periods.
Finally, Turnbaugh won with his escape five seconds into the final 30-second session.
The loss will motivate Lee even more for the regional tournament which will be held Feb. 28 and 29 at Milford Mill.
“I just have to prepare more to be physically better,” Lee said. “And I have to practice more on that situation, on that scenario.”
Southwell advanced to the finals by beating top-seeded Elijah Bell, of Franklin, 13-11, in the semifinals.
“It was a little bit of a shocker because the (Franklin) kid has done so well,” Warm said. ““His strategy going in was to be as physical as you can be and just bring it to him and if you lose the match, you gave it everything that you’ve got.”
In the finals, Southwell fell to Perry Hall’s Brent Newcomer, 9-1.
“In the finals, the kid just wrestled a very good, smart match, very disciplined, quick strong, he did everything really well,” Warm said.
The surprise of the tournament for the Comets was Talil Rogers, who placed fourth at 195 pounds despite coming in as the 15th seed.
“He was 8-18 coming into this tournament,” Warm said. “He lost in the first round and came all the way back to fourth place.”
Adam Dye (182) placed third by beating Pikesville’s David Handy, 5-4, in the consolation finals.
Greg Eads (5th, 160) also placed for the Comets.
Lansdowne may have only finished 15th in the team standings, but the Vikings produced three placers for coach Geoge Dunn’s squad that won five dual meets this season afte winning only one last year.
Russell Seeney-Cunningham was the Vikings first finalist since Greg McCoy won a county title in 2011 and he fell in the finals to Hereford’s Joe Miller, 5-0.
Seeney-Cunningham reach the finals with a pair of pins sandwiched around a 3-2 decision.
Mauricio Franco (195) was fifth for the Vikings despite hurting his shoulder in the consolation semifinals.