The top four seeds in nine of the 14 weight classes all advanced to the semifinals after the first day of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association wrestling tournament at Mount St. Joseph.
The semifinals, which begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, will feature a team-high 10 wrestlers from No. 1 McDonogh, who was in second place (93 points) behind No. 3 John Carroll (102) after the first day.
The Patriots placed eight wrestlers in the semifinals, while No. 6 Archbishop Spalding (third place with 84) and Loyola (fourth place with 76.5) put six each in the semifinals.
McDonogh, the defending tournament champion, is seeking its sixth MIAA crown since 2002.
Five top-seeded Eagles wrestlers advanced — TK Megonigal (106 pounds), Xavi Ramos (138), Jack Clark (145), Myles Martin (160) and Tyler Patrick (182).
Clark, who pinned both of his opponents, is looking for his third straight MIAA championship. Ramos and No. 2 seed Toby Hague (152), who also advanced to the semifinals, are each aiming for their second straight title.
Nine other top seeds advanced to the semifinals, including: two-time champion Jack Mutchnik (126) and defending champion Ryan Friedman (113), both of St. Paul's; Spalding's Wolfie Bradley (120) and Logan Breitenbach (152); John Carroll's Scott Strappelli (132); Loyola's Conan Schuster (170); No. 13 Mount St. Joseph's Dan Hawkins (195), Gilman's Shane Cockerille (220) and St. Vincent Pallotti's Antonio Santoro (285).
Loyola's Schuster and David Mohler, the No. 2 seed at 138 pounds, made history with their two victories on Friday evening.
Mohler became the school's all-time career win leader with his 140th victory, surpassing 2002 graduate Danny Natterman's mark of 139. Schuster tied Natterman's mark with his 139th victory.
"David and Conan are both going neck and neck," Loyola coach Steve Truitt said. "It's a cool little competition."
To stay ahead his teammate, Mohler will have to get past Gabe Pastirik, of St. Mary's, in the semifinals and possibly Ramos in the finals.
Mohler lost a 3-2 decision to Ramos during the regular season.
If the seeds hold at 170, Schuster could be pitted against John Carroll's Hunter Rittter, the No. 2 seed.
The two didn't face off during the regular season because Schuster was sick.
"Ritter is a tough kid," Truitt said. "That's a match we've all been hoping for."
Another highlight match could unfold at 145 pounds between McDonogh's Clark and John Carroll's George Weber.
Weber was beaten twice in the finals by Clark in the past two MIAA tournaments.
Although host Mount St. Joseph had only one top seed (Hawkins), they placed four in the semifinals, including Malik Woody (120), Zeke Salvo (126) and Shane Lowman (285).
1. John Carroll (102)
2. McDonogh (93)
3. Spalding (84)
4. Loyola (76.5)
5. Mount St. Joe (59.5)
6. St. Paul's (59)
7. Archbishop Curley (57.5)
8. St. Mary's (46)
9. Gilman (45)
10. Pallotti (38)
11. Boys' Latin (28)
12. Calvert Hall (20.5)
13. Severn (19)
14. Mt. Carmel (8.5)
15. Friends (4)
16. Annapolis Area Christian (3)Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun