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County wrestler takes first at state

March 06, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Facing Mike McGill on the wrestling mat is an unenviable task.

At least the Williamsport High School senior usually shows his opponents some mercy, putting them out of their misery in six minutes or less.

McGill conquered his bracket to win the Class 2A-1A 145-pound title at the 36th annual Maryland State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday night at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

He beat Harford Tech junior Matt Kahl 3-1 in the championship final to finish 4-0 for the tournament, 33-1 for the season and 114-9 for his career. He scored a pair of first-period pins Friday to advance to Saturday morning's semifinals, where he edged Landsdowne's Jerry Lipscomb, 4-3.

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McGill won at 135 pounds last year for his first state title.

"Repeating was my goal, and I did that," McGill said.

"I've thought about it all year and worked hard for it. ... This year was even sweeter because it meant more because there was more pressure. It was a good way to go out. That kid (Kahl) was no slouch."

McGill scored a takedown 41 seconds into the first period for a 2-0 lead. Starting the second period from the bottom position, McGill finally escaped with 45 seconds left for a 3-0 advantage. Kahl immediately escaped to open the third period, cutting the score to 3-1, but was shut out the rest of the way.

"I wasn't looking to go and pin and tech everybody. I just wanted to win," McGill said. "I had confidence I could go the full six minutes and wrestle hard, and I did that.

"I've been to the finals before in front of that big crowd, and I knew what it took to win. I slowed the pace down a little bit, took control and stayed calm."

McGill will be remembered as one of Washington County's all-time great prep wrestlers. He's a two-time state champ, four-time state place winner, four-time region champ, four-time county champ and twice was voted Outstanding Wrestler at North Hagerstown's Hub Cup Invitational, the county's most prestigious tournament.

"I'm pretty proud of how far I've come and I hope it doesn't end here," McGill said.

He said he wants to continue his wrestling career at an NCAA Division I program, such as Maryland, Virginia or James Madison, or at a "big-time DII program."

"He's a special kid, and he still has a lot of success in his future," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "He's going to make some other coach proud for four years."

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