By the time the finals began last night, Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) had already wrapped up first place at Mount Mat Madness, but second place was on the line at CCBC-Catonsville, and No. 4 McDonogh, last season's tournament winner, was determined to take the runner-up spot.
Despite having a tournament-high five wrestlers in the finals, McDonogh could not win the event, but when Shane Milam defeated Ty Snook of St. Mark's (Del.) by decision, 3-2, the Eagles secured second place.
Wyoming won with 204 points, and McDonogh was second with 153.5, followed by St. Mark's (152), Westmont-Hilltop of Pennsylvania (150.5) and No. 2 Mount St. Joseph (147).
"Two-day events are an adventure in math," Wyoming coach John Gordon said. "We were down five starters and without wrestlers in at several weights. When you have that kind of adversity, you need all the kids who entered to really produce. Our quality showed."
Ten wrestlers competed for Wyoming, and nine of them placed, including Nick Gordon (135 pounds), who won the tournament's weight class for an unprecedented fourth time, and Joe McMullan, who won at 215 for the third time.
McDonogh's quality also showed. The Eagles were led by five seniors, including Eric Filipowicz (140), who pulled off what was probably the biggest upset of the meet when he defeated Southern-Garrett's Brutus Scheffel, the No. 2 seed and the national 140-pound champ, by decision.
"I studied his strengths and weaknesses before the match," said Filipowicz, who lost his final match, 6-4. "I attacked and won the match, 3-1. It's the biggest win of the season for me."
But Filipowicz was happier about the performance of his teammates.
"We have five amazing seniors," he said. "All of them stepped up. It's incredible for McDonogh to finish second after losing so many starters from last year's team."
Mount St. Joseph, which hosts the tournament, had the lead going into the second day, but coach Kirk Salvo said the turning point came in the quarterfinals.
"We had eight wrestlers, and only two of them won," he said. "That's when we lost the lead and we knew we weren't going to win."