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Owings Mills topples Overlea for county title; Bowers' 134th career win leads way for No. 7 Eagles


Drew Bowers' 9-0 decision against Overlea's James Laubach at 135 pounds earned the Owings Mills senior his 134th career victory, his second Baltimore County crown in four title-bout appearances, and helped the seventh-ranked Eagles to dethrone Overlea at Western Tech yesterday.

Coach Guy Pritzker's Eagles (219.5 points) captured the 38th annual event by beating out runner-up Franklin (194.5 points), ranked sixth in the area and eighth in the state, and No. 5 Overlea (176.5, third).

Also earning a title was Owings Mills' Matt Summerlein (160), whose 19th pin of the year over Catonsville's Leonard Jovenal raised his record to 26-3. Bowers (29-2), a member of the 1996 county championship squad, was wary of Laubach, whom he defeated for the third time this season.

"Laubach's a good wrestler, real strong," said Bowers, who has 109 career pins. "But being a senior, I went all out to win counties."

Franklin crowned Matt Schuster (103), Drew Outen (119) and Luke Mays (140) to get past Overlea, last weekend's 1A-2A state duals champ. By winning county titles, Schuster (28-2) and Outen (20-3), both freshmen, and Mays, a sophomore, did what their fathers couldn't as Franklin wrestlers in the 1970s.

Schuster pinned longtime junior-league rival Clayton Arnold (Owings Mills) in 3: 15, improving to 4-2 against Arnold. Outen edged Dundalk's Rob Holbrook, 5-3, on a takedown with nine seconds left. Luke is 2-0 vs. Owings Mills' Justin Myers, winning, 6-0, to improve to 25-0.

"Being a freshman, this feels pretty good," said Schuster. "My two uncles didn't do it, and my dad, John, he was top seed but took third three years in a row."

Jason Laubach (125), James' cousin, and Derrick Oxendine (145) won their second straight crowns for Overlea, and Justin Mitchell (189), his first county crown after being a runner-up last season.

Jason Laubach, also a region champ, moved to 31-1 with his 14-4 major decision over Dulaney's Mike Winters. Oxendine (32-1) scored four takedowns in his 12-5 win over Luke Mays' twin, Sam. Mitchell (32-0) scored a 13-5 rout over Pikesville's Ben Hall, against whom Mitchell is 5-0, having twice pinned Hall.

Loch Raven's 6-foot-7, 235-pound Greg Walker (heavyweight) dethroned Patapsco's 6-2, 275-pound defending county champ Bill Hook, 4-0, using leg rides to become his program's first champ since Ian Robbins in 1990.

Walker is 28-1 with 23 pins, but is only 2-4 against Hook (20-4), who pinned him earlier this season. Hook has 58 pins over the last season-and-a-half.

A 4.0 student who is was accepted early at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Walker beat Hook by a technical fall for last year's regional crown, but was only sixth at the state tournament, while Hook pinned his way to a third-place finish.

A 112-pound rematch of last season's 103-pound final yielded the same results: Towson's John Narlis (26-1, 17 pins) won his second straight crown, 7-3, over Franklin's Stan Wagner (25-4). Narlis is 7-1 against Wagner.

Patapsco's Joe Bena (171) improved to 19-1 with his 6-3 decision over Owings Mills' Kenny Ricker, and Catonsville's Won Hill (130) held off Overlea's Chaudhry Afzal, 3-2, improving to 26-0 for his school's first title since Shawn Ohl at 130 in 1996.

Parkville's Gary Burkhardt (152, 29-1) won his 25th straight bout since losing, 7-5, to Oxendine, scoring 12 near-fall points in an 18-4 rout of Patapsco's Will Richter. Burkhardt pinned all three of his previous opponents to reach the title bout.

Pub Date: 2/21/99

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