BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ-- After moving nine wrestlers past Districts last weekend, GL wrestling took to the mats at Union High School on Wed, Feb 24 to compete in the Regions. Four out of the seven GL competitors sealed their spot in the next level of Regions, while two of the wrestlers already had byes to the next round.
Two of the nine Gov. Livingston wrestlers, Dan Tomlinson (285) and Nic Mele (120) had byes in their respective weight classes. They will compete in the next round on Friday, Feb 26, along with the four wrestlers who won in Wednesday’s match: Jake Pecorelli ’16 (106), Austin Senkarik ’16 (138), Quinn Haddad ’18 (160), and Jack Blasch ’16 (195).
Pecorelli (106) started off Gov. Livingston’s success at Regions with a huge pin against Irvington's Terrell Ashman. In an effort to seal off his match, Pecorelli stopped at no cost. His quick and tactful pin placed him further in the bracket, providing GL with its third wrestler to move on to the next round.
Austin Senkarik (138) began with the same intensity and drive as Pecorelli. Senkarik’s two points poised him for a quick 2-0 start. A takedown in the second along with another point would add three more to his already two-point lead, leaving Senkarik up 5-0 going into the third. A powerful takedown and multiple moves landed Senkarik a spot in the next level of the Regions, as he overcame Philippe Lovensky (Rahway) with a final decision of 10-0.
Nick DeLuca (152) lost in a tough battle as he was just one point away from a golden ticket to the ensuing round. A comeback was not far out of reach as he worked relentlessly to make up for the deficit, but was ultimately defeated 6-5 in an intense match.against Victor Azeredo (Union).
Quinn Haddad (160) began with a slow start to his match. Going into the second, Haddad and Cranford's Dave Busch had failed to earn any points. After a stop in time, Haddad came back guns blazing and going into the third had a three point lead. Haddad would leave the mat with a victory under his wing as he defeated his opponent 6-2.
Turner Haddad (170) fell short of a triumphant walk off the mat as his opponent came on the mat with power. Although the first minute was a hard-fought battle on both sides, Haddad was pinned by Delbarton's Cole Kreshpane in 1 minute 55 seconds into the first.
Chris Bottone (182) came out testing the waters with Millburn's Daniel Caivano. Neither side could make a move or gain dominance over the other, leaving the score 0-0 going into the second. In the second, however, Bottone’s opponent caught three points although Bottone remained aggressive and alert. The three-point lead would leave Bottone with a loss to end his night.
Jack Blasch (195) started off aggressive and dominant on the mats for GL’s last match of the night. He took advantages of his openings, and in a thrilling end to Wednesday’s events for the Highlanders, Blasch succeeded in pinning Cranford's Dylan Budnik and moving on to the next round.
Next, quarterfinal rounds will take place Friday evening at 6 p.m. at Union High School.