Harford County went a perfect three-for-three in state championship wrestling matches Monday night at the Maryland State Wrestling Tournament contested at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.
C Milton Wright senior Wyatt Graham and Patterson Mill senior Hunter Crowley both finished with undefeated records, while CMW freshman James Riveira finished off a one-loss season.
The wins by Graham and Riveira matched the total of state titles won by CMW previously. The last of those, by coach John Thornton, a 1999 champ.
For Graham, a year of build up led to the title. Graham came into last year’s state final with a perfect record, but that was eliminated with the loss.
This year Graham was focused on one thing, getting back and winning this year.
The focus became reality when Graham (48-0) pinned John-Luke Iglesias of Walt Whitman in 2:33 for the 220-pound Class 3A-4A title.
“First off, I drank a full cup of coffee before that, so I am amped up still,” Graham said. “But, I didn’t care what the score was going to be, I just knew that I was gonna go out there and kick whoever is across that line’s ass. It didn’t matter. I just wanted to go out there and make my mark and that’s all that mattered to me.”
Graham built up a 7-1 lead in the first period. He took Iglesias down, but Iglesias escaped. Graham took him back down and to his back for the near fall, but not the pin.
Graham stated period two in the down position, but quickly scored a reverse and turned it into the match-winning pin.
Leading to the final, Graham won by first period pin; 14-3 major decision; and 7-0 decision in the semis.
Teammate Riveira (47-1) had a little tougher time in the 120 final. A near fall in third period, though, gave Riveira a 6-4 win over Walter Johnson’s Kemper Stearns.
“The feeling is extraordinary, words can’t describe it,” Riveira said. “It just shows me what’s to come and hopefully it will lead to the right path.”
Riveira took a 2-0 lead in period one, but Stearns used a reversal and two back points as time ran out in the period.
Riveira added a reversal for the only points in period two and then in the final period, locked Stearns up in a brief cradle, but long enough for the two deciding back points.
Crowley (42-0) needed overtime to win the 1A-2A 182 crown, 3-2. Crowley and Glenelg’s Sam Alsheimer stared each other down as they circled around the mat for a period.
Crowley scored an escape point early in period two and then like the first period, more circling around the mat with no scoring.
Crowley elected to give Alsheimer the neutral position to start the final period, which tied the match 1-1.
No scoring in the overtime period, put Crowley down for an additional 30-second period, but Crowley could get free.
Crowley then had to hold Alsheimer down for 30 seconds as well. That didn’t happen as Alsheimer worked for the escape and appeared headed to victory.
Crowley, however, shot in and in the final seconds of the period, scored the winning takedown. “Yeah, it was a lot of stalling going on. He had a great defense, so I couldn’t work my normal stuff, like a double,” Crowley said. “Had to go to like low ankles and stuff, couldn’t finish him until that last scramble there.
Bel Air junior Brent Lorin, saw his bid for a third straight state crown fall with a quarterfinal loss to another defending state champ, Sean Vosburgh of Leonardtown at 120.
Lorin (44-5) was pinned 13 seconds into the final period, but the junior bounced back in a strong way.
Lorin battled back with four straight wins to place third. In the consolation final, Lorin scored a nuetral point and takedown, both in the second period for a 3-0 win over Ryheam Tull, a junior from Old Mill.
“Getting bumped off by Vosburgh, that really takes a lot of the confidence out of your game, so to get ready for the consolation bracket, I just knew that I had to put thoughts like that out of my head and I had to refocus on te match,” Lorin said. “When I started this season, my goal was to become a state champ, because I wanted a shot at being a four-timer, but after that match I knew that wasn’t going to happen. So, I had to focus on the next best thing, which was working for third place.”
Two other juniors, Havre de Grace’s Jesse Fenner and Edgewood’s Daviyon Johnson, also wrestled for third, both at 285, but both were beaten by decision.
Fenner (1A-2A) lost 2-0 to Tayquon Johnson of Williamsport. The winning points came by reversal in the final :05 of the second period.
Edgewood’s Johnson (3A-4A) dropped a 5-3 decision to Christian Bryant of Eleanor Roosevelt. Johnson reached the semifinal round, but the 5-2 loss dropped him to the consolation bracket.
Johnson pinned CMW’s Sawyer Sturla in :41 to gain the spot in the third-fourth place match.
Sturla came back to get fifth with an overtime win.
Additionally, North Harford sophomore Josh Mitchell (1A-2A) placed sixth at 132, as did Bel Air freshman Trevor Lorin (3A-4A) at 106.
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports