Gaels grab MIAA crown

The Baltimore Sun

Mount St. Joseph won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association wrestling tournament yesterday at its home gym, and heavyweight Karl Green not only won his weight class but also was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.

"It's real overwhelming," said Green, who pinned his opponents in all four matches. "I've been waiting for this for a long, long time. I've never been named Outstanding Wrestler anywhere. It's really special to me. When my brother wrestled here, Mount St. Joe won the title. But this is the first one while I've been here, and I really wanted it."

During Green's past three years at Mount St. Joseph, McDonogh stood in the Gaels' way. But yesterday, using what Mount St. Joseph coach Kirk Salvo called "a real team effort," the Gaels outpointed McDonogh, 240-229.5, even though the Eagles produced a tournament-high five champions: Albert Woody (130 pounds), Eric Filipowicz (140), Curtis Holmes (145), Shane Milam (171) and Alex Pagnotta (189). It was Mount St. Joseph's 27th league title.

Holmes, who earned his fourth MIAA tournament title, needed three overtimes to beat Archbishop Curley's Alli Saadulaev, 3-2, and Milam needed a reverse with one second left to edge Archbishop Spalding's Kvaunte Smith, 8-7, for his second MIAA crown. Woody also won for the second time, and Pagnotta claimed his third title. Filipowicz, a senior and No. 2 seed, won for the first time and was the only wrestler not seeded No. 1 to win.

Loyola, getting most of its injured wrestlers back for this tournament, finished third with 153.5 points, edging Curley (153). Spalding (146) was fifth.

"We had three guys win titles," said Salvo, recognizing freshman Tyler Goodwin at 112; his brother Frankie, a junior, at 119; and Green. "I'm real proud of our team. We had 12 guys place, and that's what made the difference."

It was a tournament filled with thrills. St. Paul's freshman Eric Friedman won at 103, capping the Crusaders' season. St. Paul's wrestled with only freshmen and sophomores this year and forfeited six upper-weight-class bouts in every match but finished its dual-meet season 13-10 and placed two wrestlers in yesterday's finals.

St. Paul's freshman Pete Galli, who lost to Goodwin at 112, was one of just three wrestlers - McDonogh's Ben Sataloff (160) and Spalding's Smith (171) were the others - not seeded first or second to make it into the final round. All were No. 3 seeds, and none of them won, though Smith took McDonogh's Milam to that final second.

John Carroll and Spalding each placed three wrestlers in the finals. Spalding's Will Switzer won with a 7-3 decision at 125, while John Carroll's Eric Hart won by forfeit early in the first period of his 152-pound match and Sammy Von Paris took a hard-fought 4-2 decision at 215. Gilman's Tommy Faust won at 135, and Calvert Hall's Ethan Keiser won at 160.

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