Bel Air crowns four champs, wins UCBAC wrestling title for third straight year

Bel Air wrestlers celebrates after winning the team championship during the UCBAC wrestling championships at Aberdeen High School Saturday.
Bel Air wrestlers celebrates after winning the team championship during the UCBAC wrestling championships at Aberdeen High School Saturday.(Brian Krista | Aegis staff / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Four Bel Air wrestlers won titles and the Bobcats won their third consecutive Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference tournament championship Saturday at Aberdeen High School.

The Bobcats placed 11 wrestlers fifth or better to pile up 227 points, well ahead of runner-up Patterson Mill's 148.50. Harford Tech was third with 145, while rounding out the top five were Rising Sun, 135.50, and Fallston, 129.50.


"I think this shows the depth of our team," Bobcats coach Craig Reddish said. "We have some good individuals, but the strength of our team is our numbers and we have a pretty solid guy at every weight class. I just want to praise my coaching staff, my wrestlers, they just really work hard and they're fun to be with. It's just a pleasure."

Bel Air also won three straight between 2008-2010, giving the Bobcats six championships in the event's 12 years.

Brent Lorin got the finals started for the Bobcats, winning the first title at 106 pounds, the lightest weight class. But it wasn't easy for the unbeaten (37-0) freshman, who won 8-5 over Fallston's Josh Ford.

Lorin took a 4-0 lead in the final 10 seconds of the first period with a takedown and a set of back points.

But Ford scored three points in the second period and two more in the third to tie the bout, 5-5. Lorin went back ahead with an escape and added a late takedown.

"Obviously there, it's a matter of who's going to get it or not and it's stressful, but you just got to do it, you got to focus, you've got to plan your move and get the takedown," Lorin said.

Scott Miser added the second Bobcats title at 152 and in a little bit easier fashion. Tied 2-2 with Aberdeen's Jordan Stewart, Miser turned Stewart and pinned him in 3:05. Miser was the 160 champ last year.

Tom Gomez added a championship at 182, with a tough 4-3 decision over Hunter Crowley of Patterson Mill, while the Bobcats fourth and final title was won at 220. Dakota Crawford, a champ at 285 a year ago, needed overtime to get by Aberdeen's Rocko Hillhouse, 4-2.


McDonald has big day

Patterson Mill senior Colin McDonald had multiple reasons to celebrate. He dominated in the 126 final, pinning Bel Air's Jacob Reed in 4:37 after building up a 14-0 lead.

It was McDonald's semifinal win, though, that was career win 159, a record for UCBAC wrestlers. Perryville's Chris Brown had the previous record of 158.

"It feels great, because I know a lot of people strive for a goal to set and that was a big goal for me to have and I knew that Chris Brown set it at 158 and he was a state champion, a great wrestler, so I knew that trying to beat his record was going to be really hard, but I just worked hard and that's all I could do," McDonald said.

As for the pin in the title match, McDonald said, "I was going for that the whole match. I just kept attacking and used my strength and that helped me a lot."

McDonald was the 120 champ last year.


Repeat champs

Fallston senior Devin Hyman, the 106 champ last year, added a 113 title this year, beating Harford Tech's Zach Granese, 4-0. Hyman scored a takedown in the first period and a reverse in the second period.

Tech's Andrey Kalwa and Edgewood's Ariq Nixon were both repeat champs at the weights they won in 2015.

Kalwa edged Bel Air's Liam Bowers, 3-2, for the 145 title, but Kalwa had his hands full.

Both wrestlers scored escape points, Kalwa in the second period and Bowers early in the third.

The score stayed tied at 1 until Kalwa scored a takedown on the edge of the circle with just 12 seconds left in the bout.

Bowers added an escape, but Kalwa was able to hold him off for the remaining eight seconds.

Nixon scored a 4:20 pin over Fallston's Logan Ziervogel at 138. Nixon trailed 4-2 after one period, but a takedown with two near fall points sent the match to the final period locked at 6.

Nixon began that final period down, but forced Ziervogel, who was in control, to his back to score the surprising fall.

The unbeatens

In addition to Bel Air's Lorin, Aberdeen's Ethan Smith (26-0) and C. Milton Wright's Wyatt Graham (25-0) stayed unbeaten in winning titles.

Smith pinned his way into the 170 final and once there, won a major decision over Perryville's Eugene Zacerous, 17-7.

Graham posted an upset at 195, beating top seed C.J. Allen of Aberdeen, 4-2. Graham scored the decisive takedown in the final 15 seconds of the match.

More champs

Havre de Grace sophomore Alex Lloyd won the 120 crown by pin over top seed Colin Day of North East. The pin was called at 2:42.

Leading 2-1, Lloyd reversed Day onto his back for the pin.

"Excitement, I was super excited," Lloyd said. "As soon as I had his arm and had a stiff arm around, I knew I was going to at least have a reversal, but once I got his back on the ground, I just wanted to end it right there."

Havre de Grace teammate Jacob Sweigart had a tougher time, but still won the 160 title, 4-2, over Tyler Jones of Rising Sun.

Tied 2-2 into the third period, Sweigart scored a reversal midway through the period for the lead.

"When I was going for the reversal, I had in my head that it was 2-2, there's not much time left and I need to get this takedown to win it," Sweigart said of the winning move. "It's my year, I gotta win this, I'm going to win this, I can't lose this today. As soon as I picked him up and returned him, I knew that I could ride him out for the rest of the period."

Jones tried for a tying reverse in the final 10 seconds, but Sweigart was able to hold him off for the win.

The heaviest weight class went to Tech's Caleb Warner at 285. Warner and Ricky Denu were scoreless through one period, but that changed rather quickly when Warner put Denu on his back and pinned him in 2:23.

The only title that was not won by a Harford County wrestler came at 132 where Rising Sun's Silas Fillaux beat North Harford's Will Sadowski, 5-0.