DeMatha's Wes Cummings won a 189-pound battle of state champs, 5-1, over Gilman's Damien Davis, whose 41-bout winning streak against Maryland opponents ended in the premier bout of last night's 20th annual Annapolis Tournament.
Cummings and heavyweight Marc Hayes -- a 6-5 winner over Gilman's state champ Mike Faust -- were two of four champs for five-time National Prep champ DeMatha (195.5) of Hyattsville in Prince George's County.
Coached by Elkridge resident Dick Messier, the Stags placed eight wrestlers in the top four of their weight classes, including champs Drew Robertson (160) and Kyle Woods (171), to eclipse runner-up Old Mill (173 points).
A two-time state champ and last year's National Prep champ, Cummings used an ankle-pick takedown for a 2-0 lead and used leg rides to control Davis, a state champ and National Prep runner-up last year. Cummings' second-period escape made it 3-0 before countering Davis' third-period takedown attempt as the Gilman senior tried to make up the difference.
"I have a bad knee and an ankle sprain, so I didn't think I could ride legs. But in the middle of the match, I found myself doing it," said Cummings, who is headed for Cal State Bakersfield on a full wrestling scholarship. "I feel Damien's my only competition in the state, and I got him, so now I'm going down to 171."
Hayes' takedown with four seconds left secured his win over Faust, against whom Hayes said he has a 2-2 record.
"We always get a late start compared to other schools, so this gives us some motivation," said Gilman's Mark Harbold. "We come here because it's the best tournament of the weekend. It gives us a benchmark."
Vern Hines is in his first year replacing Old Mill's Mike Hampe, who retired after 28 seasons, 257 wins and a public school state-record six Class 3A-4A tournament state titles and one 3A-4A duals state crown.
Josh Liston (130, 4-0) was the Patriots' only winner, breaking a 2-2 second-period tie with an escape and a takedown in a 7-4 title-bout upset of Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champ and state runner-up Steve Lanciotti (7-2) of Mount St. Joseph. Lanciotti won last year's Annapolis title at 112.
But Liston's two-time state champion teammate Chris Combs (125) was runner-up in the tournament for the second straight year, losing, 5-2, to Dan Hurst of Altoona, Pa., who last year was third both in his district and region.
"I'm surprised I'm the only champion, but we did well against tough competition," said Liston, who was third in last year's regionals. "We realize everyone's got an eye on our program, but we're still wrestling tough as ever with more of an in-your-face style."
Mount St. Joseph's Ryan Herwig (119) and Bryan McDermott (140) each improved to 8-0 after adding the Annapolis Tournament crowns to the ones they captured last weekend at Curley.
XTC Herwig needed only 3: 35 to plant Annapolis' Dan Hemminger -- a state runner-up two years ago. A runner-up at last year's Annapolis Tournament, Herwig pinned two others and had an 11-7 semifinal win over Calvert Hall's Derek Michaloski. A sophomore, Herwig was MIAA and state runner-up last year.
Hemminger's twin brother, Andrew (152), grounded out a 4-2 decision over private schools state runner-up Joe Sergeant of DeMatha to improve on last year's runner-up effort. And Calvert Hall, last year's MIAA champ and private schools state runner-up, crowned senior state champs Chris Knox (112) and Tony Russo (145, 7-1).
Knox (8-0), a senior ranked No. 4 in the nation by USA Wrestling, pinned all three opponents, and Russo had three pins and a 14-3 rout of Westminster's John Muse, a fourth-place finisher at states last year.
Westminster's Kyle Burger (135, 4-0) had a pin and three decisions, improving on last year's runner-up effort. Loyola's Danny Natterman (103, 3-0) ripped through his competition with two technical falls and a pin.
Pub Date: 12/06/98