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Depth lifts Arundel over Southwestern for 3A-4A East title Wildcats had trailed until consolation semis


Only No. 3-ranked Issac Haertel (152 pounds) won an individual title for No. 7 Arundel at Meade last night, but his team's depth enabled it to overcome runner-up Southwestern, 122.5-97, for the Wildcats' first 3A-4A East Region crown since 1989.

Haertel (25-1, 15 pins) blanked Mervo's Baltimore City champ, Bryan Cromwell ( 22-3) by 8-0 to improve on last year's runner-up finish.

"I thought we'd have a few more guys in the finals, but we still did exceptionally well in the wrestle-backs. We do better when we're underdogs facing a challenge," said Haertel, last year's state runner-up.

Arundel trailed Mervo (91.5, third) by 24 points after the first day but pulled ahead permanently, 100.5 to 85.5, after consolation semifinal wins by Pat Ortman (103, fourth place), Pat Crouse (112, third), Chad Webber (125, third), Adam Sayani (130, third), Graham Harris (145, third) and Ryan Markish (189, fourth).

A five-point second-period takedown enabled Southwestern's Ronnie Powell (119, 32-2) to win a battle of two-time city champs by default, dethroning Mervo's Garfield Thompson (21-4). Powell, the 11th city wrestler to win the regions -- the second Saber -- led, 6-0, when Thompson injured his ankle.

Edmondson's Aaron Jackson (112, 14-1) became his school's first region champ with his eighth, ninth and 10th pins of the year.

"We wrestled flatly the first day, but we're a team of mostly sophomores, so this is a good experience," said coach Fred Bullock, whose Sabers have won three tournaments, including the city's.

Mervo had four runners-up and the city's 11th champ -- the

city-leading fourth from his school -- in Aaron Brown (Hwt., 20-2), who pinned Northern's Donyell Jackson (22-5).

No. 11 Broadneck (91, fourth) had champs in Todd Betz (125, 28-3), No. 1 Lonnie Donner (130, 24-2) and Julian Tai (135, 24-6).

Betz led, 4-0, after an early throw en route to winning a battle of region champs, 5-2, over Mervo's Millard West (20-2). Donner improved on last year's runner-up effort, 14-2, over Old Mill's Gary Serago (21-4), with eight near-fall points.

After not placing at counties at 140, Tai beat county champ Rich Sampson (Old Mill), 18-6, and pinned both city champ Charles Frazier (Southwestern), and District 8 champ Brady Burton (J.M. Bennett, 26-3), the latter in 1:54 for the title.

"Mike Toth, our 189-pounder, was hurt and couldn't make it here. I told him I'd win it for him. It's great," said Tai.

Chesapeake-AA's two champs were Carl Cicchetti (145, 23-4) and Chad Duncan (171, 27-2). Cicchetti edged Queen Anne's Mike McCowan (20-5) by 5-1, and Duncan's 19th pin of the year moved him within three of the single-season record (22) held by Brian Eveleth.

A buzzer-beating fireman's carry secured a 7-5 decision for Annapolis' Rich Parshley (25-4) over Patterson's two-time city champ Claude Marrow (20-3), and Meade's Willie Thomas (140, 26-6) edged Dunbar's sophomore city champ Dennis Perry (16-2) by 8-5. Parshley is Annapolis' first region champ since Chip Cochran (1992).

Queen Anne's No. 5 John Waters (103, 24-4) pinned Old Mill's county champ Chris Combs (28-3, 16 pins) in 1:04. Waters, a two-time state place winner who cut from 112, was fourth and second in the last two regionals.

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