- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Four teams from the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference competed in the Class 2A-1A South Region wrestling tournament at Marriotts Ridge High School in Howard County on Friday and Saturday.
From SMAC, there were four region champions and 14 wrestlers in total who qualified for this weekend’s 2A-1A state tournament at the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House in College Park. The top four finishers in each respective weight class qualified for the state gathering that will kick off on Friday and continue throughout the day on Saturday.
Patuxent finished fourth at the 2A-1A South tournament with 95 points, five more than sixth-place Calvert. Lackey earned seventh place with 83 points and McDonough settled for 11th with 30 points.
Glenelg of Howard County placed 12 wrestlers within the top three of their respective weight classes to claim the region title with 225 points.
Patuxent collected five state qualifiers and had two regional champions.
“I was very happy with taking five to the state tournament,” Patuxent head coach Mike Bartley said. “Of course, I wanted all nine, but those individuals will put in the work and should be in the show next year.”
Defending state champion Matt Gancayco captured his third-straight regional crown with a 5-1 win by decision over Glenelg’s Andrew Pagnotta in the 170-pound clash.
“It feels gratifying to win a region title for the third-straight time,” Gancayco said, who is the top-ranked wrestler in the state in his weight class and will be attending Princeton this fall. “[Pagnotta] was pretty tough, I just went in with a good mindset. When I got my second takedown during the match, I was able to take control.”
“Matthew sets the example of what it takes to be a champion,” Bartley added. “And it seems to be spreading throughout the room.”
At 138 pounds, Patuxent junior Connor Furst won his first-ever regional title with a 9-6 win over Glenelg’s Ryan Carter.
“I’m speechless,” Furst said, recently winning his first-ever SMAC title. “To stand atop the podium was exciting; I got second last year and was third as a freshman. I just wrestled 100 percent and used my technique. I took it one point at a time, and countered [Carter’s] moves.”
“I feel pretty good having two region champs,” Bartley said, “especially Connor Furst. It was his first [region crown], along with a first-time SMAC championship. Connor has really worked hard this offseason and it’s showing on the mat.”
Patuxent’s Andrew Pressley (106) and Andrew Hall (126) placed third with wins in the consolation finals, while Mitch Lake (145) took fourth.
Calvert’s Sean Kinney won the 182-pound region crown as he edged out Oakland Mills’ Dominic Clarke, 7-5. Mark Fowler (220) and Jesse Stuart (285) took fourth in the region for the Cavaliers.