Centennial senior twins David and Mark Nakasone arrived at McDaniel College in Westminster on Saturday in separate cars and had little to say to each other before or after the state wrestling championships.
"All I said to him [this morning] was, 'Warm up the car,' " recalled Mark, who drove his parents' green Dodge Caravan to Westminster while David slept.
"I might've said, 'Close the door.' That's it," David recalled. "I was too busy [to say anything]. I was trying to focus."
Mark showed no emotion as he watched David defeat Northern Garrett's Darric Kamp at 152 pounds to secure his second straight state title.
After Mark defeated Williamsport's Devin Hewitt at 145 pounds to claim his first title, David didn't applaud.
The Nakasones became the first pair of twins to win state titles since 1995, but they clearly didn't share the spotlight.
"They are very low-key with all their teammates," said their mother, Linda. "They may not talk to each other, but I don't think they are rooting against each other."
"We just kind of don't acknowledge the existence of each other," Mark said.
But the rest of Howard County -- and now the state of Maryland -- does recognize their existence. Not since Northeast's Mike and Marty Kusick won titles in 1995 has a pair of twins claimed top state honors. The Nakasones were the only county wrestlers to reach the finals at the state tournament this season, on a weekend where Howard County wrestlers found little to cheer about.
River Hill, which relied on balance and depth to win the 4A/3A dual meet, finished 11th, with 46 points, well behind 4A/3A tournament champion Old Mill (73).
The Nakasones' titles helped Centennial to sixth place (62 points) in Class 2A/1A. Champion Owings Mills scored 103 points.
"It's hard to continue to [get motivated] week after week after week," said River Hill Coach Earl Lauer, whose Hawks swept the county tournament, the regional and state dual tournament and the Class 4A/3A North Region tournament. "You can only get up so many times. I thought we were flat. We didn't wrestle very well at all, but the expectation wasn't there, either."
Fifteen county wrestlers placed in the top six at the tournament, but only four were in the top three: the Nakasones, Hammond sophomore Steve Sessa (Class 2A/1A 189 pounds) and River Hill junior Vince Cina (Class 4A/3A 103 pounds). Sessa avenged a loss at the Class 2A/1A South Region tournament by defeating Howard's Phil Thomas, who finished fifth, in a consolation match.
Oakland Mills junior Jeff Plasse also avenged three previous losses this season to Centennial junior Dominic Ventura (sixth) with a win in a consolation match en route to a fourth-place finish at 125 pounds.
For Howard County schools, the story of the day was the success of David and Mark Nakasone, and the peculiar relationship of these fraternal twins.
"This is just a show, really," said Linda Nakasone, a twin herself. "I think it's an act they put on. They really do care about each other. They just don't talk very much. I don't know what that is from, but they are very concerned about how the other one is doing."
In fact, each brother's success on the wrestling mat is closely linked to the other. They are usually sparring partners in practice and spend hours in the weight room and wrestling room trying to out-work one another.
David never hid the fact that he was the family's only state champion until Saturday. Mark often mentions his record of 36-0, compared to David's 35-0 mark, and recalls that he was named outstanding wrestler at two tournaments this season, while David earned that honor only once.
"I think they want to outdo each other, and I guess it's like any sibling rivalry, especially in high school," Centennial Coach Todd DeCrispino said. "You always want to be a little bit better than your brother, accomplish a little more."
In the end, they both accomplished it all.
"It's nice because we are both the best in the state," Mark Nakasone admitted.
That, as far as compliments and achievements are concerned, is as good as it gets.