By Jack Chavez
UPPER MARLBORO —As the final seconds wound down in Robbie Fleming’s semifinal match, holding on to a one-point lead, the 152-pounder said he was determined to not let his weekend end there.
“I didn’t get all the way there just to wrestle for third, fourth,” he said. “I wanted to go into finals and wrestle for first and second
Fleming got his wish, as he held on to win the decision, 5-4, and advance to take on Leonardtown’s John Podsednik for the Maryland 4A/3A 152-pound title on Monday at The Show Place Arena.
Old Mill, which led the county with eight wrestlers qualifying, advanced four wrestlers to at least the quarterfinals, including Fleming, Ryheam Tull (120), Boris Beltran (160) and Levi Garren (170).
South River coach John Klessinger saw some solid performances from his wrestlers, too.
“I think the effort was great,” Klessinger said. “I can’t complain about that at all. We came up short a little bit, but the other half of it, not being greedy, it was a good day. We have four kids coming back Monday to get a medal, which I can’t be happier about that. That’s great.”
The Seahawks qualified five wrestlers to start the day, of which four advanced to the semifinals, including Isaac Barber (113), Calvin Brumfield (132), Trenton Puccinelli (145), and Ka’Ron Lewis (285).
Lewis was the lone Seahawk to emerge from the semifinals victorious, taking down Edgewood’s Daviyon Johnson 5-2 to advance to the heavyweight title match on Monday. He’ll face Mount Hebron’s Nick Nordhausen.
“I mean, there are a lot of things that I could’ve done better,” Lewis said of his semifinal victory. “But I’m just glad things worked out the way they did. I ended up being the stronger man at the end, so I’m happy.”
Broadneck, which qualified seven wrestlers, saw four wrestlers advance to the semifinals, including Owen Joyce (145), Zach Doyle (170), Vinny Facciponti (195) and Noah Genovese (220).
“I thought they had some ups and downs,” Bruins’ coach Reid Bloomfield said. “Some guys did really well. Coming from last year when we had three here, this year we have seven and four potential to place, the goal is to just get better each year, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Meanwhile, in the 2A/1A tournament, Southern qualified five wrestlers at the start of the day: Hunter Anderson (145), Josh Merkle (160), Averum White (170), Joseph Ireland (182) and Joey Miller (285).
Merkle advanced to the quarterfinals before losing a sudden victory decision, 3-1, to Damascus’s Timothy Ferguson.
“It was nice getting five through,” Bulldogs coach Jeff Schrumm said. “We knew the tournament got a lot tougher this year, a lot of teams traveled down. … I don’t think we lived up to what our goals were and our expectations. It’s a little disappointing.”
The consolation finals and finals are scheduled to take place Monday evening at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.