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McKahan and Kim face tough state competition

(March 13, 2015) Stephen Decatur sophomore Andy McKahan and junior Brett Kim competed in the 4A/3A state wrestling tournament, held Saturday and Monday, at Cole Field House on the University of Maryland-College Park campus.

“They did great. They both had really tough, competitive weight classes,” said Decatur Coach Todd Martinek. “I was happy with how they did.”

McKahan finished fourth in the 126-pound weight class.

He pinned his first opponent, Andrew Southwell from Catonsville High School, in 1:16. McKahan won his second match 6-3 over Damascus’ David Creegan. The Decatur sophomore lost to North Hagerstown’s Aaron Brooks, 12-4, in the next round. Brooks went on to win the 126-pound state title.

McKahan battled Walter Johnson’s Logan Wilson for the chance to compete in the third/fourth-place match. After three, two-minute periods, the score was tied 1-1. Neither wrestler scored in the one-minute overtime period, so it came down to two 30-second periods. McKahan scored a point for an escape and held on to win 2-1.

McKahan took fourth place, falling to Mt. Hebron’s Jeff Hayden, 5-2.

“He was just a tough wrestler,” McKahan said of Hayden.

A little disappointed, McKahan (27-8) said he has some work to do to get back to the state meet again next year. This was his second time competing in the tournament. He finished third in the 113-pound division last year.

“Our team’s going to get better in the next few years and the same with me,” said the two-time Bayside Conference and 4A/3A South Regional champion.

Kim faced the defending state champ, Meade’s Travis Chidebe, in the first round. He lost 7-3. Chidebe went on to win the 160-pound title.

“I did better than I thought I would do against him,” Kim said.

Kim pinned Dulaney’s Sean Hoffman in the third period of their match. He lost 2-1 to Brent Martin of Colonel Zadok Magruder High School in the next round.

Kim thought he did well in his first state appearance. Before the meet, Kim said he wanted to learn from the state experience and the seasoned grapplers competing.

“I learned from the [wrestlers] I lost to. I was able to see what I did wrong so I can improve for next year,” he said. “I felt pretty good that I made it to states. I enjoyed the experience and being able to wrestle there.”

Kim went 27-12 this year. He placed third in the Bayside meet and fourth in the regional competition.

Decatur finished the season with an 11-3 record. The Seahawks took fourth place in the Bayside Conference championship tournament.

The team will lose six seniors–Brandon Wooten, TJ Scafone, Max Pyles, Jeremiah Purnell, Brandon McKenzie and Andrew Leto–to graduation, three of whom were starters.

“The season had a lot of highlights. The kids certainly got better,” Martinek said.

A number of underclassmen cracked the starting line-up this season and were successful, which bodes well for the program’s future.

“A lot of the kids are returning so hopefully we have a good foundation to come back next year even more competitive. I’m looking forward to next year,” he said.

PHOTO COURTESY TODD MARTINEK
Stephen Decatur sophomore Andy McKahan stands on the podium Monday with his medal after finishing fourth in the 4A/3A state wrestling tournament at Cole Field House on the University of Maryland-College Park campus.

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