A pair of late arrivals ended their seasons on top.
Arundel senior Justin Tippett and Loudoun County sophomore Dan Scanlan -- each of whom joined their respective team in mid-January -- capped their shortened seasons by winning state titles.
Tippett finished the year 17-1 after scoring a last-second takedown to knock off Patapsco's Eric Hood, 8-6, in the Maryland 4A/3A 189-pound final last Saturday. Tippett had not wrestled competitively since his freshman year -- citing burnout as the reason for his break -- but re-joined the team on Jan. 12 for one last hurrah.
"My goal when I came back was just to place in the top six," Tippett said. "But as the season went on and I started winning more and more, I began to think that maybe I could win it all. My freshman year I told Coach [Bill Rover] that I would win a state championship before I graduated. I guess I kept my word."
Scanlan (16-1) capped a season that began with an injury by claiming the Virginia AA 160-pound title last Saturday. Scanlan injured his back while snowboarding and did not return to the team until mid-January.
Scanlan, who reached the state final at 130 pounds last season, suffered his only loss of the season to Warren County's Brock Jardine in the Region II final on March 1, but avenged it by knocking off Jardine, 13-7, in the state final.
"I busted my butt every single day this week to get ready," Scanlan said. "This was just a product of hard work."
Top Wrestlers Square Off
Some of Maryland and Virginia's top senior wrestlers will face off this Friday in the Maryland-Virginia Challenge at Marshall High School.
The event is being renewed after a three-year hiatus and will feature several state champions, including Damascus's Greg Cohen (189 pounds) and Herndon's Eric Zakrzewski (171). The challenge starts at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5.
Also this weekend, top Virginia AAA wrestlers will wrestle against top Virginia AA and A wrestlers at the Virginia Challenge. The event will be held Saturday at Montgomery High School near Christiansburg, Va.