No. 3 North Carroll displayed its usual dominance in winning its second straight Meade tournament crown -- its third overall -- over the weekend.
The Panthers had eight champions in No. 2 Chris Boog (171, 4-0), No. 4 Tommy Kiler (135), No. 5 Cory Rill (130), No. 6 Eric Hott (145), Saidrick Lewis (152), Ed Davis (112), Jason Albert (140) and Jason Simms (189).
No. 4 state runner-up Doug Dell (119) dropped a 2-1 decision to Arundel's Phil Meenan, ranked No. 3, on a third-period takedown.
"Saidrick looked super," said North Carroll coach Dick Bauerlein. "He hit some nice high leg singles, some nice duck-unders. Last year, he'd worry too much about the crowd, but this year, he seems to be showing all the tools. He's been impressive, and he's been all business."
The only disappointment, said Bauerlein, came at the hands of Meenan, who two years ago beat North Carroll's eventual state champ, Jeremy Myers, 3-2, in similar fashion.
"His style is to slow you down, I guess," Bauerlein said. "He got hit once for stalling, but I thought he had too many chances to take breaks in the match."
Francis Scott Key looming
No. 4 Francis Scott Key's wrestling team had a successful Annapolis tournament over the weekend, finishing second to top-ranked Mount St. Joseph against a tough field.
Of course, their goal is to tackle the North Carroll Panthers, as they did in taking the regional title from the Panthers after losing both the county regular season and county tournament crowns.
Top-ranked, All-Metro state champ Randy Owings (135) learned
at Annapolis that it's tough being at the top.
After being a runner-up to Paint Branch's three-time state champ, Craig Middledorf, Owings -- one of seven Key wrestlers who placed in the top fourSaturday -- emerged victorious in the tournament's toughest weight class.
After a 19-second pin in the first round, Owings blanked his Broadneck opponent, 12-0, earning the right to face Mount St. Joseph's No. 3 Tyran Dungee, whom Owings pinned in just over a minute last year.
But this Dungee was a defending Maryland Scholastic Association champion and was more of a seasoned veteran. He also was coming off of a 4-1 semifinal victory over DeMatha's then No. 1 Jerry Sloan, who had placed third in last year's National Preps.
Owings used a takedown and an escape for a 3-1 lead that stood for the victory after several of Dungee's takedown attempts were stymied. His effort made him the Eagles' first champion in the tournament's history.
It also made him the Maryland State Wrestling Association's co-No. 1-ranked 135-pounder with No. 14 St. Paul's Steve Truitt (10-0), an MSA champ who edged Dungee, 4-2, en route to the Maryland Invitational crown at Curley two weeks ago.
"He was cautious and I was cautious. If nobody else thinks I wrestled a good match, I did," said Owings. "Middledorf was the favorite last year when I was an unknown. But everyone's out to get me now. My freshman year I was third and last year I got second. I guess I was due to win it this year."
His teammate, No. 4 Zac Yinger (145) discovered that sometimes when you think you're on top, you're really on the bottom.
Yinger, who probably also should have won a title, finished third and had to watch in disappointment as Bullis' No. 3 Bennie Ferro breezed to a 12-0 title-bout victory over McDonough's then No. 3 Todd Margolis.
In his earlier semifinal against Yinger, Ferro was helpless in a spladle pinning maneuver, and Yinger appeared on his way to at least an 8-5 victory, if not a pin.
But the spladle is a move which involves the offensive wrestler's exposing his back to the mat. And if he leans back to far -- as Yinger did -- he can, in affect, pin himself.
That was the fate which met Yinger.
"I was just sitting there watching as his shoulders dropped. When the ref slapped the mat, I was all happy and pumped up," said Yinger. "But then he raised the other guy's hand, it felt pretty bad. I just don't know what to say."
Yinger later shared a laugh with coach Bill Hyson and seemed to be OK with his mistake. He and his teammates, including Ryan Etzler (103, second), Steve Lessard (125, third), No. 5 Chris Beale (140, third), John Crone (160, fourth) and Erin Brilhart (171, fourth) soon were raising their runner-up trophy skyward for happy, picture-taking parents and friends.
"This was a tremendous accomplishment for us," said Hyson. "We hadn't ever had a champion down here."