Arundel senior Justin Tippett's triumph at the Anne Arundel County championships was the highlight of a brief wrestling career that now consists of just 11 varsity matches.

Tippett wrestled junior varsity as a freshman but missed his sophomore season with mononucleosis and opted not to compete a year later. He decided to give the sport another try in January and wrestled as a 189-pounder, earning victories in seven of his eight regular season matches.

He entered yesterday's county meet as the sixth seed and faced top-seeded Chad LaPlanche of Chesapeake in the final. Perhaps familiar with an opponent he had wrestled back in junior league competition, Tippett won, 5-3, and captured one of the third-place Wildcats' two individual titles.

"A lot of people thought I had the talent to win, but there was also some doubt," Tippett said. "LaPlanche is tough." . . .

Centennial senior Mark Nakasone (28-0) pinned River Hill senior Ryan Shevland in 3 minutes 45 seconds to win the Howard County 145-pound title, teaming with his twin brother David (152 pounds, 27-0) to become the second set of twins in county history to triumph in the same year. Shevland won with his brother, Nick, last year.