Dulaney's Destiny Benjamin caps season with pair of girls titles, five area boys make state tournament

Dulaney's Destiny Benjamin caps season with pair of girls titles, five area boys make state tournament

Craig Clary Contact Reporter

It was a banner postseason for several wrestlers on the Dulaney boys team, but it was a female who stole the spotlight as junior Destiny Benjamin won two postseason tournaments.

Benjamin won the inaugural MPSSAA girls-only folk-style wrestling tournament at Northeast High School on Feb 3.

There were 80 girls competing in 16 weight classes, and Benjamin captured the title at 132 pounds.

Benjamin, the only champion from Baltimore County, pinned her first two opponents and won a 7-1 decision in the championship.

A week later, at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, she won a Maryland State Wrestling Association state title at 138 pounds.

During the season, she was undefeated against female wrestlers from the state of Maryland and 11-2 against them overall.

Although her season with Dulaney is complete, she will continue to compete.

 "She has two national championships lined up," Dulaney coach Scott Asher said.

In July, Benjamin will go to the junior nationals in Fargo, S.D., with Team Maryland for the second straight year.

She will go to Texas in May for the women's nationals.

During the season against males, Benjamin was 9-19, not including forfeits.

Joining Benjamin at the top of the podium in the Maryland State Wrestling Association girls tournament was Dulaney's Nicole Wanga, who won at 160 pounds.

For the Dulaney boys, the same two wrestlers that qualified for the Maryland state tournament last year, Aaron Dow and Tyler Woodard, did so again.

Dow (36-4), a senior, qualified by winning the Class 4A-3A North Region championship at 182 pounds.

He was the first Dulaney regional champion since 2015. At the state tournament, Dow went 2-2.

He opened with a third-period pin of Bowie's Hashim Gafney and was sent to the consolation round after a 12-2 loss.

In the consolation round, he won by injury defeat, but he was eliminated in the next round by injury default.

"He won his first match with an injured elbow, but it just got progressively worse throughout the day and he couldn't wrestle any longer," Asher said.

Woodard (30-8), third in the regionals for second straight year, went 2-2 at the state tournament at 220 pounds.

The senior, who signed a letter to play football at Nassau Community College, N.Y., defeated Northwestern's Nicholas Libcke, 18-5, in the first round, but Woodard was pinned in the second.

In the consolation round, he won with a third-period pin, before falling to Franklin's Elijah Solomon for the third time this season, 4-2, in overtime.

"He was unfortunately called for stalling in the last 10 seconds of one of the overtime periods and that tied it up," Asher said. "It wasn't a bad call, it was just unfortunate."

The Lions also had some success at the Baltimore County tournament.

Woodard was third, along with Carlos Lovo (160 pounds). Lovo finished the season with a 26-11 record.

Freshman Nick Schiefelbein (285, 25-9) was fourth and senior Joe Newland (126, 20-15) was sixth at the county tournament.

Dow was fifth in the county tournament, which was held all in one day because of predicted bad weather.

"Aaron Dow had one bad sequence in counties where he lost," Asher said. "In a normal tournament I think he would have come back and got third. He ended up doing really well at regionals and that was the tournament of the year for him."

Towson High produced one state tournament qualifier in senior Caleb Boyer (27-6), who won a regional title at 145 pounds.

Boyer, who was fourth at the county meet, lost both of his matches in the state tournament by forfeit.

Loch Raven junior Marquis Kemp (120, 37-8) placed fourth at the state tournament.

He won an 11-5 decision in the first round and 5-4 decision in the second, before getting pinned in the third.

A 3-1 victory over Glenelg's Kevin Hansberger earned him a spot in the consolation finals, where he lost a 4-2 decision in the ultimate tie-breaker to Marriotts Ridge sophomore Ethan Bohan.

Junior Antwon Chance (138) also qualified for the state meet after finishing second in the regional tournament. He was 0-2 in the state tournament.

At the Baltimore County meet, Antonio Chance (132) and Vince Maranto (220) were fourth and Antwon Chance and Kemp were fifth.