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Chesapeake, Serio finish off Arundel


He had been there before - just 2 1/2 hours earlier yesterday - so Chesapeake senior 160-pounder Seppi Serio just went about his usual business in last night's Class 4A-3A East region dual meet championship against county rival Arundel.

A repeat trip to Saturday's state dual meet championships at Hammond was on the line and Serio, top-ranked in his weight class, was the last wrestler up and he needed at least a technical fall against Wayne Edmiston to send the No. 5 Cougars through.

Serio's second-period pin was the last of a number of clutch performances that enabled the host Cougars to get past Arundel, 34-32.

Chesapeake (12-3) reached the finals with a 36-30 win over No. 8 Old Mill earlier with Serio again providing the finishing touch with a first-period pin against Mike Maltigliati.

Pressure? Not for Serio, who improved to 23-2 on the season.

"I kind of like it," he said. "I was real pumped up - ready to go. And I didn't take it any different than any other match. I like it when it comes down to me because I have the confidence I can win every match."

The Cougars got their usual points from 171-pounder Jake Couch and 119-pounder Corey Bowers. But two tight decisions - Josh O'Keefe's 6-4 decision over Devin Gillett at 103 and Craig Sturgeon's 3-2 win over Brian Stiffler - played big along with a huge pin from 140-pounder Dave Mays and a major decision from Matt Willis at 130.

"It was just crazy - right down to the end," said Sturgeon, who avenged a 4-1 decision to Stiffler earlier in the season. "I just had to go out and win it for the team - it's not just for me."

Arundel (13-3) pulled out all the stops in coming up just short.

The Wildcats forfeited the heavyweight slot all season long, but took a chance by bumping up 215-pounder Terrone Travis to take on Chesapeake's Andrew Timme. He scored a second-period pin to help give the Wildcats an early 15-6 lead just after Brad Pendock bumped up to 215 to nip Ed McLangran, 5-4.

The Wildcats advanced to the region final with a 34-30 win over No. 11 Fallston (10-3) in the other semifinal, Josh Hayghe getting a 15-2 major decision over Ben Minshall to break a 30-30 tie in a 160-pound match.

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