Tyrone Bryant's Old Mill teammates were in tears after his thrilling victory sealed the Class 4A-3A dual-meet state championship for the No. 3 Patriots last night at Marriotts Ridge.
Bryant, a senior and a first-year varsity wrestler, entered the last match of the night with his team trailing La Plata by a point. He responded by pinning Mitchell Keith in 53 seconds to give Old Mill a 32-27 victory. It was Old Mill's third dual-meet state crown since 1998.
"I was just going out, knowing I could contribute for my team," Bryant said. "I just wanted all of the hard work to pay off for a state championship. I came out, and it was just pure adrenaline. I was going to give it my all for me and my teammates."
Old Mill trailed much of the match against the top seed. However, victories by Thomas and Michael Sillaman at 160 and 172 pounds, respectively, cut the margin to 27-26 to set up Bryant's heroics. Bryant wasted little time attacking his opponent, and his pin sent his teammates into a frenzy.
"I knew I had a special group of kids, but they really showed it tonight," Old Mill coach Dan Youngblood said. "They believed in themselves. They believed in the team. And they pulled together. They never let their heads get down when we were behind, I can't be prouder of the last three guys who stepped up. I would not go to battle with any other 14 guys than these."
In the Class 2A-1A championship, which took place simultaneously, No. 10 Owings Mills wasted no time trying to set the tone.
Julio Trujillo, Kevin Dufour and Avi Friedman opened with quick pins, and the Eagles opened 24-point lead. However, Southern of Garrett County then took control and won nine consecutive matches en route to a 51-24 victory.
"They're tough," Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker said. "They were tough. I thought we had to win seven. We didn't think we were going to be that good this year."
The Eagles were going for their fifth state dual-meet title since 2002. It appeared early that Owings Mills was going to cruise after the strong start. Southern regrouped and took its first lead, 27-24, when Bubba Scheffel pinned Taryn Carr at 152.
The Rams never looked back and dominated the rest of the match.