HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Four Howard County grapplers took home titles at the 3A/4A East regional wrestling tournament at Severna Park on Saturday.
Centennial junior Jason Kraisser (145 pounds) earned his third career championship, while Mt. Hebron senior heavyweight Nick Nordhausen won his second straight crown. Eagles senior Jacob Blyukher (138) and Atholton junior Sean Billups won their first regional titles.
Kraisser (35-0), the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the official Maryland high school rankings, pinned his first two opponents and then won an 11-2 major decision over Trenton Puccinelli of South River in the final in what could be a preview of the state final. Puccinelli is the second-ranked wrestler in 3A/4A.
Nordhausen (39-1) was nearly as dominant. The No. 1 seed pinned his first two opponents in less than three minutes and won via injury default in the final against Old Mill’s Nasir Bakare in the championship.
Blyukher (31-4) upended No. 1 seed Kyle Preston of Northeast the final, 6-4. The senior won an 18-0 technical fall and a 10-0 major decision to reach the championship a year after finishing fifth and falling short of qualifying for the state tournament.
Billups (31-0) won all three of his bouts with bonuses. He beat Broadneck’s Zach Doyle, 14-5, in the championship to keep his undefeated record intact.
Raiders junior Drew Pruett also reached the finals but fell to Stephen Decatur’s Jagger Clapsadle, 5-2, in the 106-pound final, and Vikings senior Yahir Lemus lost to Leonardtown state champion Sean Vosburgh, 14-3, in the 120-pound championship.
Atholton sophomore David Panda (113), Mt. Hebron senior Adam Scherr (132) and Reservoir senior Todd Del Tufo (152) finished third, while Raiders senior Stephen Frazier (145) and Vikings senior Ali Pender (152) placed fourth to advance to the 3A/4A state tournament at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro on March 2-3.