State champs share winning ways

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Old Mill and Owings Mills.

Not only do the names sound similar, but the teams also performed alike Saturday in winning the state Class 3A-4A and Class 1A-2A titles, respectively.

Each had two individual champions and a record-breaking performance. The Patriots, coached by Mike Hampe, scored a state-high 130.5, breaking the 11-year-old record of 113 set by Bowie in 1980. With 125 points, the Guy Pritzker-coached Eagles also surpassed the old mark and set one for Class 1A-2A teams.

Old Mill placed seven wrestlers in the top four of their weight classes, and Owings Mills had six. The two teams are in a second-place tie behind Mount St. Joseph in the Maryland State Wrestling Association rankings.

"I didn't realize that there were that many similarities. [Owings Mills] was having a heck of a tournament over there [in Class 1A-2A], and they're doing a real fine job," said Hampe, in his 16th year at Old Mill. "Pritzker said he compared our team with his [on paper] and that his team couldn't beat ours. I'll agree with that. I'm an agreeable guy."

It certainly would be one heck of a match between two relatively young teams. This season's Patriots squad had three seniors, and the Eagles four.

Owings Mills sophomores Greg Kessler (125, 33-0) and Grant Johnson (130, 28-1) are champions, and Brent (135, 36-1) and Brian Layman (160, 31-0) were the Patriots' champions.

The Patriots got a runner-up finish from 103-pound Steve Lundstrom (30-5), and the Eagles got one from 112-pound Kenny Gendason (30-3). Finishing third for Old Mill were John Bliss (140, 30-9), Ernie Longazel (171, 32-6) and heavyweight Don Marco (33-3), and for Owings Mills Jason Ricketts (145, 30-3) and Eric Rumenap (189, 30-4).

Sun Park (189) was fourth for Old Mill, as was Sigismund Frasier (171) for Owings Mills.

Aberdeen's 135-pound junior, Matt Slutzky (32-1), became the state's ninth three-time champion. Slutzky can become the state's first four-time state champ next season. Overlea's Kevin Heid (112, 31-3) and North Carroll's Dave Foster (152, 31-3) were the only repeat champions.

Two other area wrestlers -- Chesapeake's Brian Eveleth and Hammond's James Burrell -- won their schools' first titles. Burell (32-4) won the Class 1A-2A 140-pound title, and Eveleth (34-0) won the Class 3A-4A 125-pound title.

The area's other 3A-4A champions were Broadneck's Charlie Bennett (103, 34-2), Annapolis' Pat Flynn (145, 34-0), Randallstown's Mike Jenson (171, 35-0) and Oakland Mills heavyweight Monte Spencer (36-1).

Other area 1A-2A champions were Aberdeen's Zack Fowl (103, 31-2) and Southern-Anne Arundel's Jason Braithwait (32-1-1).

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