What a difference a few days can make.
On Friday, Old Mill clinched early against Arundel to cruise to its 14th Anne Arundel County dual-meet championship.
In last night's much-anticipated rematch at Old Mill to see which team would represent the East region in Saturday's Class 3A-4A state dual-meet championships, it came down to survival.
Sophomore heavyweight Dave Kim and his Patriot teammates managed to fend off determined Arundel, 25-24.
Old Mill, ranked fifth in the metro area with a 14-1 mark, advances to the state semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday at Frederick High.
The Patriots took a 25-21 lead into the heavyweight match with Kim going up against Arundel's Jeff Blachly, who pinned him in the first period on Friday.
And while Blachly won last night's battle -- a 6-0 decision -- Kim and the Patriots won the war.
After a scoreless first period, Blachly had Kim in a scissors and a half-nelson midway through the second and appeared on his way to the pin, but Kim found a way to stay off his back. Blachly continued to press in the third period, but couldn't get Kim turned over.
"The team support got me up, and I just went out there and wrestled hard," Kim said. "[Blachly] has a lot more experience than me -- it's my first year [on varsity]. I knew I had to wrestle my butt off."
Said Old Mill coach Mike Hampe: "The Old Mill spirit showed from him tonight. He just fought, fought, fought. He got decked the last time [on Friday], and I thought he was going over [in the second period], but then he popped out."
On Friday, the Patriots won the first seven matches and led 33-0, clinching at 152 when Eric DeCosmo scored a major decision against Ryan Harris. Arundel (13-2) closed out the match with four straight pins to cut the margin to 37-27.
Early on last night, the Wildcats stayed away from some pins and got a 9-6 decision from Brian Schroeder over Chris DeAdder at 125. On Friday, DeAdder came away with a pin.
So going into the 145-pound class last night, the Wildcats trailed only 22-6. They closed the gap with a decision win from Graham Harris at 145; a pin from Rob Connolly at 160; a decision from Matt Neidig at 171 with Old Mill's Derrick Dawson doing well to stay off his back; and a pin from trevor Baumgartner at 189.
The Wildcats came up just short of completing the comeback with Blachly doing all he could to get a pin.
"I thought I had [Kim] pinned when I had him in the body scissors. I had his shoulders on the mat for two or three seconds," Blachly said.
Said Arundel coach Buddy Hepfer: "Our kids came in psyched up, and we wrestled better today. We knew how thought they were in the first seven matches, but we felt if we could win a couple down there, we'd have a pretty good shot. [Hampe's] kids pulled through."
With help from five forfeits, Arundel advanced to the finals with an easy 55-6 semifinal win over No. 14 Northeast, while Old Mill got pins from Adam DeCosmo, Chris Combs, Dave Hicks and Rich Sampson to cruise past Meade, 49-23.
Pub Date: 2/12/98