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North takes its Hub Cup

January 17, 1999|By MARILYN JANUS and TOM JANUS / Staff Correspondents

North Hagerstown wrestling coach Greg Slick is fond of saying that luck "is when opportunity meets preparation."

So when six Montgomery County teams, including defending champion Damascus, were unable to compete due to bad weath, Slick's wrestlers jumped at the opportunity, crowning four individual champions and earning 224 team points to claim their first Hub Cup victory.

"For twelve years, I've sat with a group of disappointed kids, and said to them, 'One day we're going to win it,'" said Slick, whose team also claimed one second and three third-place finishes. "Team depth made the difference tonight. We picked up our wins in wrestlebacks and the other teams did not. This is not a beginning, but the end of many years of team effort."

Hubs junior E.B. Wallech, only a second-year wrestler, took advantage of his opportunity to win the experimental 215-pound weight class. He also was the FSK Invitational champ at 215.

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"I've wrestled here and at heavyweight, but I won the FSK Tournament and this one at 215," said Wallech, who weighs 200 pounds. "It's definitely better for me at 215. I hope they vote it in."

Williamsport, with five individual champions, two runners-up and 194.5 team points, came in second. Jared Myers (171) and Ryan McDonald (Hwt.), the only returning champions from last year, each claimed his second title.

With his team in second place and personal victory not assured, sophomore Steve Stone (125) edged Westminster senior Chris Reiter, 6-5 for critical team points, and his first tournament win.

South Hagerstown freshman Brandon Ashby extended his seamless wrestling streak, pinning Chad Albright of Beall for the 103-pound title. Freshman teammate Aaron Showe (140) tied for fastest pin at 15 seconds with the Hubs' Paul Toomey (125).

Middletown's defending 1A-2A state champion Zane Harshman, who pinned his way to the 160-pound championship, was named Outstanding Wrestler.

The Hubs also received the Rob Wells Sportmanship Award, named for a varsity wrestler who died last year.

Walkersville's Chris Kehne (135) scored the upset of the tournament, pinning undefeated state-ranked Kyle Burger in the semifinals. Kehne, avenging a 12-7 loss to Burger in the Damascus Tournament finals, scored a 19-3 major decision over Wildcat Chris Allen for his Hub Cup crown.

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