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Harbaugh, Turner settle for consolation prizes

March 04, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - While they were Washington County's only placewinners Saturday at the Maryland Class 2A-1A State Wrestling Tournament, neither Smithsburg senior Jeremy Harbaugh nor North Hagerstown sophomore Jake Turner was in much of a celebratory mood.

Each went 2-0 Friday when the tournament began and walked into Cole Field House at the University of Maryland on Saturday morning set to wrestle in the championship semifinals - just one match removed from a title bout.

However, Harbaugh lost all three of his matches Saturday and finished sixth at 189 pounds, while Turner went 1-2 to place fifth at 135.

After falling 6-3 to eventual champion Danny Miller of Stephen Decatur in the championship semifinals, Harbaugh (31-6) was pinned in 2:49 by Calvert's Bryan Seay in the consolation semifinals and then lost 11-1 to Eastern Tech's Ryan Andrzejewski in the bout for fifth place.

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"It's just a disappointment," said Harbaugh, who had previously beaten Andrzejewski twice this season, including a first-period pin in the quarterfinals Friday.

"Losing in the semis was a big letdown, and he just didn't get back from it," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said.

Turner (21-8) bounced back in his fifth-place bout, totally dominating Northwestern's Eric Hill. Turner built a 9-0 lead on Hill before pinning him in 1:58.

"I was real pumped. I just wanted to rip someone's head off," Turner said. "I felt like I should at least be on the other mat, going for third and fourth."

Turner was pinned in 44 seconds by Beall's Stephen Whetstone in the championship semis and edged 5-3 by Stephen Decatur's Skylar Snead in the consolation semis.

Still, not many people would have given Turner much of a chance to even make states before the postseason began. The North sophomore had to wrestle a pigtail bout just to earn the last seed on the bracket at the West region tourney, where he bursted onto the scene with a runner-up finish.

"Top five in the state ain't too bad, I guess," Turner said. "It feels good, especially since I was pigtail in the region."

Harbaugh, who was sidelined all but three matches last season, has a comeback story as well.

"He made a great run for someone who was out last season with a knee injury," Dietrich said.

Also Saturday, Smithsburg's Brandon Knight (145 pounds) and Justin Hovermale (152) and North's Jim Eichelberger (140) each lost by decision in the consolation quarterfinals, falling one victory short of placing and finishing 2-2 for the weekend.

Hovermale (33-3), a senior, was making his states debut, while juniors Knight (25-11) and Eichelberger (30-8) both improved on their performances from last season's state tourney.

Last year, Eichelberger went 1-2 at 130, while Knight went 0-2 at 145.

"I improved on last year. That's the main thing," Knight said. "I came in here and wrestled better than I have all year. But it's heartbreaking because I lost two very close matches.

"Next year, I should come down here and place. We should have more placewinners next year in the county."

Smithsburg junior James Reilley (130), North senior Josh Borland (171) and South Hagerstown senior Chris Bell (285) each lost in the consolation second round Saturday morning, finishing 1-2 for the weekend.

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