Sam Ditmars thought he was just trying to win a Class 4A/3A East Region championship. Everyone in his camp knew it was something more.
The South River 145-pound senior and Annapolis’ Nik Antonelli were a tangled mess starving for points until Ditmars eked out one in the second period, but Antonelli got it back in the third.
In overtime, Ditmars worked to escape Antonelli. The Seahawk warped and twisted with the Panther until he found his opening. Ditmars pounced on Antonelli’s back, eliciting a geyser of screams for his 3-1 victory — and something more.
Isaac Barber, a former South River wrestler and member of the 100-win club, hoisted a glittery black poster from the crowd as athletic director David Klingel announced it. Not only was Ditmars a champion, he earned his 100th career win.
“Grateful. One word is grateful,” said Ditmars, the only Seahawk regional champion. “Aside from being born to my family, being with this team is the best gift.”
At 195, South River’s Aidan Healey led Broadneck’s Dax Avila 4-2 as the final minute frittered away. Healey bested Avila just a week ago in the county championships, but Avila was confident.
“I knew I could score on him. I was just waiting,” Avila said. “I didn’t find the perfect moment. There were 30 seconds left. I had to make action.”
The Bruin lunged at Healey, thumping him against the mat, sinking a half-nelson. In seconds, he pinned him, becoming one of three Broadneck winners on the day.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Avila said. “We’re going to states as one of the best teams.”
Broadneck’s three golds tied Old Mill for the most from any team in the coed division Saturday, but the Bruins qualified many more for next weekend’s state tournament.
Wrestlers who finished in the top four of their weight class qualified for Friday and Saturday’s state tournament at The Show Place Arena. The Bruins will send eight, the most six-year coach Reid Bloomfield has ever qualified. Along with Avila, Cam Williams (113), Branden Whyte-Taylor (120), Ryland Woodward (145), Peyton Miller (152), Liam DeBaugh (160), Max DeMella (170) and Jake Chambers (182) all advanced.Williams and DeBaugh joined Avila as regional champions.
“It’s great for the room,” Bloomfield said. “The goal is to have as many guys in the room preparing for states, working, getting different looks, having different workout partners. The more we have them there, the better it is.”
Williams’ triumph in the 113-pound final was fairly definitive, a 6-2 decision over Leonardtown’s Nolan Wood. DeBaugh, who was a state runner-up at 126 last year, had to protect his slim advantage to the end, holding on to a 7-5 win.
152-pound Bryan Arevalo of Old Mill won his title over Marriotts Ridge’s Tyler Bury with a 3-2 decision, but he never felt as frantic as the match looked.
“I was never panicking. I had control,” Arevalo said. “He wasn’t shooting, he had a stalling call. It was what I expected. It was a mind game.”
Logan Johnson made quick work of Marriotts Ridge’s Boden Pistorio at 106. The Old Mill freshman worked Pistorio into a headlock and earned a first-period pin.
Heavyweight RJ Duncan also won a title for Old Mill, beating Westminster’s Randy Green, 7-3, in three overtimes.
Logan Cookerly (170) and Xxavien Mackell (220) will join them at the state tournament.
“I think we’re getting better every week, peaking at the right time,” Old Mill coach Jim Grim said. “Some kids barely didn’t make it; I thought we could’ve made some noise this weekend. But I’m excited for states next week, but even more excited about the offseason.”
Reservoir had two champions, both earning victories over South River wrestlers. Andrew Dolezel (120) cruised to an 18-2 technical fall win against John Titow, while Sam Vissers (126) held off Ben Ford for a 5-4 decision.
Other regional champions crowned Saturday included Marriotts Ridge’s Atley Turner (132), Dylan McCullough of River Hill (170), Omar Palmer of Atholton (182) and Samuel Jordan of Mt. Hebron (220).
Turner improved to 40-3an 11-3 major decision against Annapolis’ Davis Ruhf, while McCullough pinned Cookerly in 5:59 to move to 42-1. Palmer got a first-period pin, improving to 24-2, and Jordan will head to the state tournament looking to become the Vikings’ first state champion with a 36-1 record.
Nonetheless, this was a good day for South River, too. Two weeks after capturing its second consecutive 4A state dual meet state title, the Seahawks sent seven to states: Ditmars, Trent Shipley (106), Titow, Ford, Healey, Busayo Balogun (220) and Alex Szkotnicki (113).
Szkotnicki, trying to become the first girl to win a coed Maryland state title, was pinned and upset in the semifinals — only her sixth defeat of the year. She would not let that happen again. In the third-place match, the senior pinned Marriotts Ridge’s Rocky Alabbadi.
“We’re coming into next week with our heads up,” Ditmars said. “We’re so tight as a team, it just feels right to finish off like this.”
Meade’s Cavell Morris (138) joined a long list of boys to fall victim to a Kraisser, as Centennial sophomore and defending state champion Calvin Kraisser racked up a 13-3 lead before pinning the Mustang in the second period to improve to 30-2 on the season. But Morris will have another chance at it next week — and he’s not the only Mustang. Obina Onyeson earned a spot in the state tournament at 182 with a third-place finish.
On the girls side, Meade’s Viviana Abalama (120) claimed silver and Brienna Blackwood (130) took a forfeit for gold as she moves on to defend her state title.
North County heavyweight Elijah Boston placed third and Kairyn Hall (145) took fourth.
With his silver, Antonelli is one of several qualifiers for Annapolis. Teddy Sfakiyanudis (126) and Ruhf will join him, as will Olivia Goldinger (120) and Joanne Baltimore (170) in the girls tournament.
Michael Queen (120) earned a state spot for Severna Park, as did Alanna Adams (135) on the girls side.
Glen Burnie will send Kevin Blair (138) for the boys and Jasmine Geris (170) for the girls. Geris earned a regional championship for the Gophers, pinning Baltimore in the finals.
“It feels amazing. I’m happy to be here,” Geris said. “This year, I came back ready to be part of something and work on myself. ... I’m really amped up. I want to place first.”
Other region results
More Anne Arundel schools prospered at Arundel High at the 4A/3A South Region Tournament. Chesapeake had a day that could be best described as “really good,” sending seven to The Show Place Arena: Brayden Ambrose (106), Brayden Roberts (113), Michael Greenstreet (120), Dylan Ritter (126), Dawson Hoover (138), Keanu Furbush (182) and Xander Dodd (195).
Crofton outdid itself in only its second varsity season, qualifying 10: Nate Gottlieb (106), Cody Fanzo (120), Dominick Rossi (132), Jacob Speed (160), Nick Eremita (170), Chris Coleman (195) and Michael Gandy (285) on the boys side and Lexy Pabon (125), Isabella Coe (140) and Renata Arroija-Guzman (155) for the girls.
Arundel will also show out in the girls division with Josie Langtry (100), reigning champ Jada Chaves (105) and Erin Wright (155), along with boys Cole Figueroa (132) and Mannaseh Ojoamo (195).
In the 2A/1A West Region, Southern qualified girls Crystallina Lackey (100), Dominica Gladwell (115), Megan Knapp (120), Hayden Mullins (140) and Ali Stevens (155). Northeast’s Sophia Hodges (110) earned her spot, too, as did Cheyenne Hall (145) and Jaziah Bond (190).
Class 4A/3A East Region results
106: Logan Johnson (Old Mill) 39-7 won by fall over Boden Pistorio (Marriotts Ridge) 39-3 (Fall 1:37); 113: Cam Williams (Broadneck) 27-2 won by decision over Nolan Wood (Leonardtown) 22-4 (Dec 6-2); 120: Andrew Dolezel (Reservoir) 40-1 won by tech fall over Jon Titow (South River) 32-13 (TF-1.5 5:05 (18-2); 126: Sam Vissers (Reservoir) 34-5 won by decision over Ben Ford (South River) 31-15 (Dec 5-4); 132: Atley Turner (Marriotts Ridge) 41-3 won by major decision over Davis Ruhf (Annapolis) 37-8 (MD 11-3); 138: Calvin Kraisser (Centennial) 30-2 won by fall over Cavell Morris (Meade) 25-6 (Fall 2:42); 145: Sam Ditmars (South River) 45-1 won in sudden victory - 1 over Nik Antonelli (Annapolis) 39-4 (SV-1 3-1); 152: Bryan Arevalo (Old Mill) 42-3 won by decision over Tyler Bury (Marriotts Ridge) 41-4 (Dec 3-2); 160: Liam DeBaugh (Broadneck) 37-1 won by decision over Jacen McLeod (Leonardtown) 36-7 (Dec 7-5); 170: Dylan McCullough (River Hill) 42-1 won by fall over Logan Cookerly (Old Mill) 39-3 (Fall 5:59); 182: Omar Palmer (Atholton) 24-2 won by fall over Jake Chambers (Broadneck) 36-6 (Fall 1:22); 195: Dax Avila (Broadneck) 37-1 won by fall over Aidan Healey (South River) 42-4 (Fall 5:36); 220: Samuel Jordan (Mt. Hebron) 36-1 won by decision over Caleb Snype (Howard) 41-5 (Dec 13-6); 285: RJ Duncan (Old Mill) 16-2 won in tie breaker - 1 over Randy Green (Westminster) 42-3 (TB-1 7-3).
106: Trent Shipley (South River) 42-6 won by fall over Johnathan Maslan (Atholton) 23-8 (Fall 1:40); 113: Alex Szkotniki (South River) 41-6 won by fall over Rocky Alabbadi (Marriotts Ridge) 33-8 (Fall 1:40); 120: Michael Queen (Severna Park) 38-4 won by decision over Branden Whyte-Taylor (Broadneck) 32-7 (Dec 9-4); 126: Thomas Gale (Leonardtown) 20-12 won in sudden victory - 1 over Teddy Sfakiyanudis (Annapolis) 29-9 (SV-1 8-6); 132: Sebastian Meza (Reservoir) 35-10 won by major decision over Logan Brown (Leonardtown) 18-13 (MD 16-3); 138: Olav Jensen (Reservoir) 31-13 won by decision over Kevin Blair (Glen Burnie) 32-12 (Dec 4-2); 145: Ryan Woodward (Broadneck) 39-4 won by fall over Kairyn Hall (North County) 28-10 (Fall 4:31); 152: Gannon Brooks (Leonardtown) 33-9 won by fall over Peyton Miller (Broadneck) 33-5 (Fall 1:33); 160: Sahith Mada (Mt. Hebron) 33-9 won by fall over Noah Whipkey (Centennial) 25-10 (Fall 2:02); 170: AJ Kuntz (Leonardtown) 37-9 won by decision over Max DeMella (Broadneck) 32-7 (Dec 6-1); 182: Obina Onyeson (Meade) 34-7 won by fall over Nate Hein (Leonardtown) 26-17 (Fall 3:50); 195: Oren Lacey (Leonardtown) 17-14 won by major decision over Jose Vasquez (Reservoir) 24-14 (MD 11-2); 220: Xxavien Mackell (Old Mill) 27-7 won by fall over Busayo Balogun (South River) 26-9 (Fall 3:46); 285: Elijah Boston (North County) 26-12 won by fall over Skye Song (Marriotts Ridge) 28-15 (Fall 1:58)