SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Gov. Livingston senior Nic Mele at 120 pounds and junior Dan Tomlinson at 285 pounds were crowned District 12 Wrestling Champions Saturday at South Plainfield High School. In team results, Gov. Livingston placed second with 152 points behind South Plainfield with 271.5 points.
Nine Gov. Livingston wrestlers earned top-three finishes at Saturday’s District 12 Tournament, each advancing to next week’s Region III Tournament in Union.
Jake Pecorelli (106 pounds), Quinn Haddad (160 pounds), Chris Bottone (182 pounds) and Jack Blasch (195 pounds) finished third place, winning out the semifinal consolation bracket. Austin Senkarik (138 pounds), Nick DeLuca (152 pounds) and Turner Haddad earned second place finishes. Nic Mele (120 pounds) and Dan Tomlinson (285 pounds) were crowned District Champions.
"I'm happy bringing 9 through District 12," said Gov. Livingston head coach Rick Ortega. "The kids are working -- this is a tough district, we took second, 100 points behind South Plainfield -- they are a really good team," said Coach Rick Ortega.
It didn’t take Tomlinson long to put on a show in the Heavyweight championship bout -- first on the boards with a reversal in the second round and pinned Colonia's Paul Juran at 2:14 for the title.
At 120 pounds, Senior Nic Mele got an escape point against New Providence sophomore Owen Smith in the second round, then held on for the 1-0 win.
Junior Turner Haddad lost in overtime to No. 1 seed Christopher Maszczak from South Plainfield with a 5-3 decision. Maszczak was first with points with an escape and take down. Haddad held Maszczak and earned two escape points in the second and third round. With 0:38 left in the third, Maszczak was penalized for an illegal takedown to even the match at 3-3 sending the final into overtime. Masczczak won in overtime by takedown.
After defeating No. 1 seed Justin Hayward (Watchung Hills), 7-5, in an overtime semifinal battle, Senkarik (138 pounds) fell to Kyle Bythell (South Plainfield) by pin at 1:36. Bythell was later named "Outstanding Wrestler" for the weekend.
DeLuca lost by pin in the 152 pound weight class to South Plainfield Daniel Hedden in 0:50.
Up next, Gov. Livingston will compete in the Region III Tournament beginning Wednesday in Union.