State champs share winning ways


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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