Above left: Justin Henry (170) is one of 10 Mount St. Joseph wrestlers in the semifinals at Mount Mat Madness.

Gaels push ten wrestlers into the semifinals

by Billy Loverocket
The Mount St. Joseph wrestling team came into the Mount Mat Madness wrestling tournament looking to close the book on 2017 with a team title. After the first day of action, St. Joe is holding a 59-point lead over West Virginia’s East Fairmont (159-100), making that goal appear very likely.
The Gaels saw 10 wrestlers reach the semifinals, Chris Barnabae (113), Clement Woods (120), Nathan Porter (126), Connor Strong (132), Seth Fillers (138), Justin Henry (170), David Schultz (182), Austin Stith (195), Keagan Rill (220), and Isaac Righter (285).
The head turner of the day was Woods, a freshman who came in seeded twelfth. Woods picked off fifth-seeded Ryan Shepherd (Haverford Prep, PA) in the round of 16, 9-2, then followed that up with a 4-1 win in the quarterfinals over the No. 4 seed, John Carayiannis (Brentsville, VA).
Wrestling through the consolation bracket, and now in placement position for St. Joe are Ethan Stern (145), Zach Phillips (152) and Jonathan Short (160).
East Fairmont’s semifinalists are Geno Casuccio (106), Blake Whorton (113), Cole Laya (120), Brock Whorton (126), and Dylan Kincell (160).
After St. Joe, the next highest Maryland team in the standings is Archbishop Spalding, fifth with 85.5 points. Reaching the semifinals for the Cavaliers were PJ Truntich (120), Ryan Garretson (145) and Garrett Fisk (152). Fisk was seeded seventh and downed the No. 2 seed, Matt Mitchler (Mountain View, VA), 9-4, in the quarterfinals.
Still alive in the consolation bracket for Spalding are Mitch Garretson (113), Dean Laumann (126), Rick Couch (132), and Tyler Savage (160).
Loyola has two grapplers in the semifinals, Josh Aybar (145) and Bennett Traurig (285), along with two in the wrestlebacks, Tyler Randolph (170) and Jason Litvak (182). Centennial’s Jason Kraisser, the No. 1 seed at 145, pinned all three of his rivals in the first period enroute to the semifinals. Josh Laubach (Archbishop Curley, 152) is the only other Baltimore area semifinalist.
Three other area grapplers fought their way into placement position after dropping matches in the championship bracket, Calvert Hall’s Jarrell Mayo (195), Gilman’s Andy Weinstein (106) and Severn’s Jacob Jarosz (170).
Frederick County’s Middletown and Urbana have two semifinalists each. The Knights have top-seeded Josh Paige at 145 and Sean Hermann (220). The Hawks have a No. 1 seed in the semis too, Jake Nielson (160). Kevin Makosy (195) upset Leonardtown’s Alexander Green in the quarterfinals, pinning him with four seconds left in the second period. Green defeated Makosy in last year’s 4A/3A state tournament 195lb third place bout, 7-3.
Leonardtown did see two wrestlers reach the semifinals, Sean Vosburgh (120) and John Podsednik (152). Maryland’s only other semifinalist was Georgetown Prep’s Kyonte Hamilton (182). Hamilton was losing his quarterfinal matchup with Loyola’s Litvak when he scored a fall to shock the Don.