The Mt. Hebron Wrestling team finished a tremendous season and accomplished a feat they have not been able to do for 16 years. On Feb. 8, the Vikings won their first regional title since 2002 before also beating Bel Air in the 3A semifinals 42-30. However, the Vikings fell short in the 3A state finals match to Huntington at the MPSSAA state dual meet championships.
Last year, the Vikings (22-3) were only a win away from qualifying for the regional duals but were ultimately the first team out. Before this season, the team set a goal to win a regional championship and reach the state championships. They were able to accomplish the goal through hard work and determination.
“We set a goal to win regionals. It was a goal we decided on as a team. As the season progressed, this went from a long shot to something we knew we would do,” senior wrestler Zach Wilhelm explained. “Despite losing states, I feel like we accomplished our goals and put our program on the map.”
“No one person or group carried the team,” Wilhelm continued. “We had captains and all stars, of course, but overall we each added in some way. Each guy wrestled for the person next to him, and we picked up each other whenever anyone fell down.”
Mt. Hebron was led by great talent throughout the entire season in seniors Nick Nordhausen (285 weight class), Isa Pender (220 weight class), and Wilhelm (182 weight class).
The Cheerleading season ended on a good note, as the team finished third place at the Howard County winter cheerleading championships, scoring 99.1 points and finishing only behind Marriotts Ridge with 103.9 points and county champions Long Reach, who delivered a very impressive routine, scoring 111.15 points. Mt. Hebron’s last county championship came in the fall of 2015, when they beat out Glenelg by the slightest of margins, 118.6-118.5.
Long Reach was the unexpected underdog coming into the county title as they lost more than half of their group to other all-star teams or other school commitments. Long Reach seniors Sarah Jungblut and Jordyn Tyler worked in unison with their underclassmen teammates to put another title-winning performance on top of the fall county championship in October.
Mt. Hebron sophomore Andrea da Silva said, “I believe we did the best of our ability. We had a couple of tweaks that could’ve been fixed if we hadn’t had so many snow days, but overall we got third and performed the best we could.”
She also added, “The top contributors were definitely Coach Hannah and our captains. This season we had a lot of new faces to cheer, so we did have to teach things all over again. But with the patience of our coach and captains, we were able to quickly go through the basics and succeed at competition.”
On Feb. 3, the Mt. Hebron Lancer Drill team won first place in kick dance performance, while co-captain senior Gretta Zinski won second place as captain for lyrical dance and co-captain sophomore Audrey Hill took home first place as captain for kick dance.
“The way the awards work at these competitions is first through third placement for the dance and then there’s a captain for each dance. The captain wears some type of band or something to stand out, and there’s one judge only watching the captain. They’ll be scored completely separately of the team routine to get their own placement,” Zinski explained.
As the winter sports wind down at Mt. Hebron this year, there have been many shining moments and star athletes that have helped put the Vikings on the map. Wrestling, cheerleading and the lancer drill team have been a shining point for Mt. Hebron.