Wrestlers participate in annual event
DEC. 11, COLONEL ZADOK MAGRUDER GYMNASIUM–
For the past two days the varsity wrestling team has been participating in the annual Big M Tournament held at Magruder. The team scored 39 points to place 18th out of 22 area high schools.
None of the Blazers individually placed. Placing means being in the top six of their respective weight class.
Senior captain Andrew Wallis (189), junior Patrick Lao (103), sophomore Darwin Landis (275) and freshman Haben Ghebremeschel (119) were the only Blazers that placed high enough during the double elimination rounds yesterday to come back for the bracketed matches of today.
In Wallis' first elimination round, he lost to the number one seed in the tournament. Wallis then proceeded to the consolation rounds, where he pinned a Georgetown Prep wrestler in a little over 30 seconds in the first round and an Einstein wrestler in about 1:45 in the second round. He came back to Magruder today, and after beating a Kennedy wrestler 9 points to 1, he lost to a Linganore wrestler. Wallis had practiced his leg shot for weeks and effectively used it in the consolation rounds by coming in close and lunging at his opponent's legs for a quick take-down.
Lao won the first but lost the second elimination round by points. Lao's bracketed first round opponent forfeited to him by not showing up. In the second round, Lao's opponent prevented him from scoring any points by holding him down until the time was called.
Ghebremescel won his first match of the tournament by forfeit. He lost in the second round to a Watkins Mill wrestler. Sophomore Michael Street (145) noted that Ghebremescel's second round opponent had weighed 140 pounds only days before the tournament. Street saw this as a disadvantage for Ghebremescel because the opponent had an obvious strength advantage over him and in the hour and a half he estimated between the time they were weighed in and the time of their match the opponent had plenty of time to resuscitate himself from any dehydration he was feeling from the obvious crash dieting he had done.
Neither Wallis nor Coach Jake Scott was disappointed with the results of the tournament, blaming lack of experience as the team's biggest weakness. Wallis estimated that 90 percent of the Blazers had not competed in any wrestling tournament before yesterday.
Last year, Blair had two finalists and one winner in their respective weight classes. Blair placed 4th overall out of 19 schools. Captain Andrew Wallis described the success of recent years as one of the driving forces of the team.
The wrestling team will next face Magruder on Wednesday, December 15, at 6:00 p.m.
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