The Williamsport senior capped his first season as a Wildcat by winning a Class 2A-1A title in the 106-pound weight class at the Maryland State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday night at the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House.
As a sophomore at Hedgesville, Miller was a West Virginia Class AAA state runner-up.
He wasn’t about to be denied this time, pinning Owings Mills’ Jake Rendelman in 1:46 in the championship finals.
“I wanted it too badly,” Miller said. “Losing was not an option.”
Miller, who pinned Catoctin’s Garrett Buckley in 3:49 in the semifinals Saturday morning, finished 4-0 with four pins for the tournament. He was the only state champion to pin all of his opponents this weekend.
“The feeling is great, let me tell you, and the pins make it all that much better,” said Miller, who didn’t give up a single point in his four matches. “This is what I worked for. This is what I wanted. I’m glad to achieve that goal.”
Miller, who finished 37-1 for the season and 140-16 for his high school career, was never more dominant than he was this weekend.
“He wrestled the best he wrestled all season, when it counted the most,” Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said.
In Miller’s weight class, he was like a man among boys.
“Pound for pound, Nick Miller is probably the strongest kid I’ve ever coached,” Rechtorovic said. “He’s only 106 pounds, but he’s a strong little man.”
Miller was the bright spot in an otherwise disappointing weekend for Washington County wrestlers. None of the other 10 county wrestlers who qualified for the tournament placed (top six), as they combined to go 10-20 at Cole Field House.
South Hagerstown’s Isaiah Brooks (106 pounds) and North Hagerstown’s Gene Balcita (138) each went 2-2 in Class 4A-3A. They each fell in the consolation quarterfinals to finish one win shy of placing.
North’s Amont Hawkins (182) and South’s Marquil Holt (220) each went 1-2 in 4A-3A, as did Williamsport’s Bryan Davis (126), Kobe Baker (145), Austin Keadle (195) and Brandon Iseminger (285) in 2A-1A.
Smithsburg’s Travis Leopold (195) and Saul Herrera (285) were both eliminated Friday after they each dropped both of their matches.
The county’s overall results only re-emphasized the highly competitive nature of the tournament — and why just qualifying for states is a major achievement in itself.
“Everyone here is good. There’s a reason why they’re here,” Rechtorovic said. “You have to come down here ready to wrestle every match. Sometimes if you start slow, it’s too late to catch up.
“There are so many tough, close matches,” he added. “If you were to wrestle this same tournament again next weekend, you might have totally different results, except for maybe the top two places.”
Maryland State Tournament