Eleanor Roosevelt captured the Maryland Region III AA-A wrestling championship last night, defying a last-minute comeback attempt by defending regional champion Bowie.
As the heavyweight match in the meet at Largo High School began between Roosevelt's Steve Thornley and Bowie's Kevin Hamilton, Bowie was third with a score of 86.50, behind High Point (87) and Eleanor Roosevelt. If Hamilton could prevail by a technical fall or a pin, Bowie would win the team title by one-half point.
But the 6-foot-9, 253-pound Thornley overpowered Hamilton, 13-0, and the Raiders were in with 98 points.
"People have told me that I have a good chance at becoming a state champion," said Thornley. "That's been my goal since before the season, and now I have a chance of that really happening."
Of Eleanor Roosevelt's three wrestlers who qualified for the championship round, Clive Monnity and Thornley placed first, and Praveen Bahethi finished second. The top four in each weight class advance to the state championships next weekend at Westminster College.
Eleanor Roosevelt will send eight wrestlers. Bowie and High Point each qualified six.
Six times in the regional championship round, the No. 1 seeds were upset.
In the 112-pound division, second-ranked Robert Dillard of Parkdale defeated Ken Donahoe, 16-4, in a superior decision. In the 119-pound class, High Point's Todd Deltufo upset Lackey's Ken Cline, 11-4. Then, at 145 pounds, High Point's Justin Glotfelty won by default over Matt Murphy of Laurel, and in the 167s, Monnity upset Frederick Douglass' Bobby Egan, 10-0 in overtime after rallying from a 7-4 third-period deficit to tie, 7-7.
The final two reversals of form were Oxon Hill's Darrin Huckaby, 185 pounds, pinning Lackey's Rich Avery in 5:40 and Thornley defeating Hamilton.