Mount St. Joseph may not always win its own wrestling tournament, the highly competitive Mount Mat Madness, but the Gaels at least seem to win the important ones.
On Saturday evening at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's RAC Arena, Mount St. Joseph raised the team trophy for the tenth annual Mount Mat Madness tournament. The Gaels scored 150 team points to hold off runner-up David Brearley (New Jersey) with 135.5 points, and Fauquier (Virginia) and MIAA rival John Carroll, who tied for third with 135 points. It was the first time Mount St. Joseph won Mount Mat Madness since the inaugural tournament in 2004.
"It's really exciting, I'm really proud of this team. We had this on our goal sheet early on this year and the kids worked hard," said third-year coach Harry Barnabae. "We only have one champion (126-pounder Zeke Salvo) but everybody on this team fights back to score points. We're a team-oriented program ... this is a special team."
Salvo pinned Pallotti's Justin Chenault in the second period of their championship match.
Heavyweight Shane Lowman, who lost by second-period pin to Urbana's Nick Keller, was the Gaels only other finalist. Junior Malik Woody (120) won the consolation bracket to place third.
Fifth-place Glenelg, with 126 points, was the highest placing public school from Maryland.
Senior Joe Zoller (170), who represented the Gladiators at the top of the podium, had no trouble with his finals match, winning by forfeit.
In the semifinals, Reservoir's Wes Beattie tossed Boys Latin's Evan Dohler in the first period, and Dohler sustained a concussion. Referees ruled the throw illegal, disqualifying Beattie.
"You hate to see a match end that way," Reservoir coach Andrew McIntyre said.
Whatever the circumstances, when Zoller had his hand raised, he became just the fifth public school wrestler from Howard County, and third from Glenelg, to win a Mount Mat Madness title.
"It's a tough tournament, I wasn't really expecting to win it," said Zoller, who missed most of last season with a broken ankle. "It was very weird (winning by forfeit). I wish I could have wrestled in the finals."
Glenelg's Mike Budock (152) was also a finalist, losing in overtime to Loyola's Walter Johnson after leading 9-7 with ten seconds left in the third period. Craig Burris (220) went 5-1 to place third for the Gladiators.
Three rounds after Zoller's win, Reservoir's Michael Sullivan (220) joined him in the history books, defeating Leonardtown's Brian Mays, 3-1, on a takedown with less than a minute left.
"I've been working really hard for this after last year, I knew what kind of tournament this was and I knew what I had to do," said Sullivan, who placed fifth at the Maryland state tournament last year.
"For his first high school tournament win to be Mount Mat Madness, that's pretty awesome," McIntyre said.
Reservoir's Mason Kilcarr (132), a returning state finalist, missed weight for the second day of the tournament.
Centennial sophomore Austin Kraisser, also a 2013 state finalist, lost to two-time Beast of the East champion Alfred Bannister of Bishop McNamara, 11-4, in the 145-pound championship.
Archbishop Spalding's Logan Breitenbach (160) won his second straight Mount Mat Madness title, and John Carroll's Hunter Ritter edged Loyola's Jake Nordhausen, 5-1, for the 195-pound title.
106: Ray Wetzel (David Brearley) fft. Michael Doestch (Severn).
113: Daniel Ariola (Fauquier) dec. Jeffrey Walker (Brentsville), 9-6.
120: Eric Hong (Georgetown Prep) tech. Brenden Velez (Brentsville), 19-3.
126: Zeke Salvo (Mount St. Joseph) pin Justin Chenault (Pallotti), 2:48.
132: Hunter Manley (South County) dec. Colin Kowalski (Georgetown Prep), 2-0.
138: Ian Brown (Hanover) dec. Morgan Way (Urbana), 9-3.
145: Alfred Bannister (Bishop McNamara) dec. Austin Kraisser (Centennial), 11-4.
152: Walter Johnson (Loyola) dec. Michael Budock (Glenelg), 11-9 OT.
160: Logan Breitenbach (Archbishop Spalding) maj. Chris Almony (John Carroll), 10-2.
170: Joe Zoller (Glenelg) fft. Evan Dohler (Boys Latin).
182: Joe Balboni (David Brearley) pin Bryce Pappas (St. Marys), 4:40.
195: Hunter Ritter (John Carroll) dec. Jake Nordhausen (Loyola), 5-1.
220: Michael Sullivan (Reservoir) dec. Brian Mays (Leonardtown), 3-1.
285: Nick Keller (Urbana) pin Shane Lowman (Mount St. Joseph), 3:50.
Top ten teams
1. Mount St. Joseph, 150
2. David Brearley, 135.5
3. (tie) Fauquier, 135
3. (tie) John Carroll, 135
5. Glenelg, 126
6. Georgetown Prep, 110.5
7. Leonardtown, 101
8. Archbishop Spalding, 99.5
9. Brentsville, 96
10. Urbana, 94.5