Harford County wrestlers won four region titles Saturday and 14 wresters overall secured a top four region finish, earning a shot in this weekend's Maryland State Wrestling Championships in College Park.
Eight county wrestlers advanced from the Class 1A-2A East region tourney in Easton, where three - Fallston's Zach Cullison and CJ Austin and Harford Tech's Dillon Brush – won titles.
In the 3A-4A East meet at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Bel Air High's William Holder-Moore also claimed a crown to lead six into the state tournament.
In winning, Holder-Moore turned in an impressive performance in the 170-pound title bout. Holder-Moore won a 7-3 decision over Meade's Isiah Alston to take the title in what is generally considered the toughest regional meet in the state.
In Easton, Cullison earned the 132 crown by edging Bo Manor's Jake Trybus, 5-3, in the finals. Teammate Austin had a bit of an easier time at 145, winning 9-2 over Bryan Mister of St. Michael's.
Harford's other champion, Tech's Brush, was dominant in his 182 final, rolling over Colonel Richardson's Matt Meyer by 15-0 technical fall. Brush is Tech's lone state entry.
Two other Fallston wrestlers were stopped short of title runs. Joe Medicus was a runner-up at 106 after an 8-1 loss to Stevan Smith of Kent Island. Fellow Cougar Ridge Myers was edged, 3-1, by Wicomico's Raheem Ramsey in the 220 final.
Bel Air's Jeff Taylor was the only other county wrestler to have a title shot, doing so in the 132 finals at Wilde Lake. Taylor lost a 16-1 technical fall to Tyler Goodwin of Arundel.
Aberdeen has a wrestler in the state tourney as Jasaan Beck had a strong showing at Wilde Lake in the 152 bracket. After losing in the semi-finals, Beck took home a third place finish in the 152-pound class, beating Bel Air's John Cross, 13-8, in the consolation bout, as both Harford wrestlers advanced to the state meet.
Also advancing to the 3A-4A states was C. Milton Wight's Ty Rochester, who was third at 220. Rochester won the consolation match with at 4-0 decision over Austin Meirick of Northeast of Anne Arundel County.
North Harford's Jordan Avig was the other Harford wrestler to qualify for the state meet, finishing fourth in the 113-pound class.
Closing out the 1A-2A state entries, Patterson Mill's Jake Nikkila and Corey Myers wrestled their way in. Nikkila placed third at 126, beating Perryville's Andrew Brown, 6-5, in the consolation final. Brown had pinned Nikkila a week earlier in the UCBAC finals.
Myers placed fourth at 195, falling by pin in the consolation match, while Fallston's Austin Rutkowski was also fourth at 182, losing to Parkside's Erick Miranda, 2-1.
A handful of wrestlers recorded finishes of fifth and sixth as well. From the 3A-4A action, Bel Air's Ryan Beveridge, 120, and Dominic Williams, 182, each placed sixth, as did Aberdeen's Travis Hubler at 132. North Harford's Logan Smith was fifth at 138.
In 1A-2A action, Fallston's Garrett Coburn, 138, and Jesse Harmon, 285, each placed fifth, while Tech's Tim Torre was fifth at 145. Patterson Mill's Nick Roney took fifth at 160 and teammate Tyler Mackechnie was sixth at 170. Joppatowne's Kevin Kinyua was fifth at 152 and Havre de Grace's Jesse Vancheri was sixth at 285.
In the 1A-2A team battle, Parkside won with 128.5, but Fallston followed up its UCBAC win with 103 points and a runner-up finish. Tech was 12th with 34.5 and Patterson Mill, 13th with 33. Havre de Grace and Joppatowne were tied for 22nd with six points each.
In the 3A-4A meet dominated by wrestlers from River Hill, Meade and Arundel, which finished first, second and third, respectively, in the team standings, Bel Air had the top Harford finish in eighth with 62 points. C. Milton Wright had 32 points to finish 13th; while Aberdeen and North Harford, both with 18 points, finished 21st and 22nd, respectively.
The state tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House. Action begins Friday at 2:30 p.m. and resumes Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Weber leads Patriots
John Carroll had four wrestlers gain All-American status at the 77th National Prep Championships, held over the weekend at Lehigh University. The Patriots finished with a school-best 14th place finish in the field of 123 teams.
Pacing the Patriots was junior George Weber, who became John Carroll's first three-time All-American, by placing third at 145. Weber placed fifth last year.
Other Patriot All-Americans from this year's tournament were junior Scott Strappelli, (seventh at 138); freshman Hunter Ritter (eighth at 160) and freshman Zach Dwyer (eighth at 106). Dwyer, who made the event as an alternate, turned heads by opening with two falls, which included the fifth seed from Texas.