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Mt. St. Joseph rolls into state semis


Defending champion Mount St. Joseph advanced 12 wrestlers, including Greg Gold (103 pounds), Andrew Gold (112), Bruce Dulski (119) and Mack Lewnes (152), into today's semifinals of the Maryland private schools state tournament at McDonogh.

The top-ranked Gaels (150 points) lead No. 4 McDonogh and DeMatha (both with 105 1/2 points). McDonogh moved seven forward, including Cam Watkins (135) and Ricky Tippett (140).

The Gold brothers, Dulski and Lewnes (43-2 record) totaled 11 pins in as many bouts, with Lewnes finishing his three opponents in a combined 1 minute, 56 seconds. Andrew Gold (30-4), Dulski and Lewnes are after their second state crowns, as are Watkins (37-3) and Tippett (36-3) for the Eagles.

For DeMatha, Mike Rowe (130) and Gary Stewart (189) are still alive in their pursuit of a third straight title, and Rudy Rueda (152), Bryan Sanders (119) and Ken Jefferson are still in contention for their second. A three-time National Preps champion, Rueda (37-3) has bumped up from 145 to challenge Lewnes.

Rueda is 20-0 at 152 pounds, having beaten two-time state champion Nathan Bachmann of Fallston and Delaware state champion Kyle Skinner (St. Mark's), the latter of whom Lewnes has twice beaten by a point.

- Lem Satterfield

Anne Arundel County

After the semifinals at South River, No. 9 Arundel leads the Anne Arundel County championships with 159 1/2 points, 29 ahead of No. 8 and defending champion Old Mill. No. 6 Chesapeake (115.5) is third and Severna Park (92) fourth.

The Wildcats, who last won the county meet 1997, capping their second straight championship, placed six wrestlers in tonight's finals. They are: top seeds Justin Bowser (112), Andrew Stiffler (125), Brian Stiffler (135) and Josh Hayghe (152), and No. 2 seeds Devon Gillett (103) and Brad Pendock (189).

"We're in good shape," Arundel coach Bill Royer said. " ... But we need to score points in four consolations to have a shot at winning it."

The top two seeds advanced to the finals in all but four of the 14 matches - 125, 135, 152 and 171. South River's top seed at 171, Darren Capizzi, was upset by No. 4 seed Jake Couch of Chesapeake, 7-6.

Chesapeake's Seppi Serio, who was the top seed at 160 and ranked No. 1 in The Sun's individual rankings, injured his shoulder in practice and had to drop out. Assistant Cougars coach Kenny King said Serio should be back for next weekend's regional.

- Pat O'Malley

Howard County

River Hill, heavily favored to win its fifth straight Howard County tournament championship, held a 69-47 lead over runner-up Atholton after the quarterfinals at Wilde Lake.

A pack of teams is closely bunched behind Atholton, with Hammond at 45 points, Glenelg at 41, Centennial at 39 and Oakland Mills at 36.

The Hawks are seeking to break Oakland Mills' record of four straight tournament titles set twice (1977-80, 1985-88) and matched by Hammond (1996-99).

All six returning county champions advanced through the quarterfinal round, including Vince Cina (112) and Kevin Cannon (140) of River Hill; Sean Kendig (215) and Anthonio Josiah (135) of Oakland Mills; Dominic Ventura (130) of Centennial; and David Brindza (119) of Glenelg.

- Rick Belz

Harford County

Bidding for its fourth straight Harford County championship, No. 3 Harford Tech advanced all 14 of its wrestlers to the semifinals to take the lead after the first day of the tournament at C. Milton Wright.

The Cobras amassed 51 1/2 points, ahead of second-place Edgewood (40 1/2 ) and third-place and 11th-ranked Fallston (36.0). Bel Air (33) and North Harford (25) rounded out the top five.

There were no major upsets with the top two seeds from every weight class advancing to the semifinals.

The Cobras' Mike Long (103), Mike Taylor (130), Brad Dreyer (140), Jeff Gardner (171) and Tony Gibson (189), all ranked first in the tournament at their weight class, were among those who advanced. So did Joppatowne's top-ranked heavyweight, Jeremy Navarre, who pinned C. Milton Wright's Anthony Lester in 1:30 to improve to 26-0.

- Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore County

Owings Mills jumped off to a good start while going for its third straight Baltimore County tournament title. The second-ranked Eagles placed nine wrestlers into the semifinals and took a 24 1/2 -point lead after the first day at Pikesville.

The Eagles, who went 18-0 in the regular season and just won their third straight Class 2A-1A dual meet state championship, have 94 1/2 points for a comfortable lead over Overlea (70).

Rob Cooper (119) and Mike Kessler (145) are returning county champs for Owings Mills. Cooper is second in his weight class in the area's rankings.

Top-ranked James Knox (Dulaney, 112), Eric Hood (Patapsco, 189) and heavyweight Phil Thomas (ranked fourth) are the other returning champions still alive in the semifinals. Kyle Krumholtz (Kenwood, 125) is the other top-ranked wrestler who's up in the semifinals.

- Jeff Seidel

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