ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Greetings from Boardwalk Hall, the site for the NJSIAA Wrestling State Championship.
On Friday night, 336 wrestlers came from all across the state to compete for a spot on the coveted eight-man podium. After two days of intense wrestling, only 112 wrestlers remain.
We will bring you continuous updates from today's consolation finals matches (ranging from 3rd place to 8th place competitors), as well as two state championship matches featuring Luke (182 lbs.) and Dean (195 lbs.) Drugac from Morris Knolls.
Update: 2:05 p.m.
220 lbs. 7th Place match:
It took Hunterdon Central's Victor LaCombe until the final minute to finally fell get control of the 220 lb. 7th place. Once he did, the match was all over for DePaul's Scott LaVelle.
Trailing by a point with 48 seconds to go, LaCombe rallied for an escape, take down, back points and finally a pin with 7 seconds left to take home 7th place in the 220 lb. weight class.
285 lbs. 7th Place match:
Union's David Brown was pinned midway through the second period by Northern Valley/Old Tappan's Jedh Downey. Brown, the Region 3 top finisher, placed eighth in the weight class.
Update: 2:00 p.m.
220 lb 7th Place Match
South Plainfield registered their second victory of the day when freshman Zach DelVecchio emerged victorious in the sevent place contest over Howell junior Eric Keosseian 5-2.
DelVecchio attempted a leg sweep on Keosseian in the second period, but failed to convert giving the Howell wrestler a 1-0 advantage. But the freshman gained the lead bu a takedown with 45 seconds remaining in the period.
After scoring a stand up point in the final seconds of the second period, Keosseian lost control of the match. DelVecchio went on to score three unaswered points to secure a podium finish in his first trip to Atlantic City.
Update: 1:55 p.m.
132 lbs 7th Place Match
Somerville senior Evan Drill closed his wrestling career with a loss in the seventh place match to Edison junior Robert Cleary with a final score of 3-0.
After a scoreless first period, Drill started the second on bottom and was held to the mat by Cleary for the entire first minute on the period.
Both wrestlers entered the final period of competition without a point. Cleary quickly grabbed the advantage with a stand up point to start the third. Another two points were rewarded to Cleary before completion of the period, securing the victory.
Update: 1:45 p.m.
120 lbs 5th Place Match
East Brunswick junior Mark Schleifer saw his season come to an end with a loss against West Morris junior Shane Metzler in the fifth place match, 3-1.
After a scoreless first period, Metzler scored on a point on a stand up at the start of the second. The two wrestlers then spent most of the period on the mat with Schleifer on his stomach.
Schleifer evened up the score 1-1 with a stand up to start the third period. The match held tied until the first overtime period where Metzler secure a victory with a takedown.
Update: 1:10 p.m.
160 lbs. 7th Place match:
Piscataway’s Michael Petite made the most of his first trip to the state championship, placing No. 8 overall in the 160 lbs. weight class.
Petite trailed early in the match, after being taken down by Cherry Hill West’s Connor Rogovitch three times in the first frame. In the second, the duo exchanged reversals, but Petite still trailed 12-4 heading into the final period.
With a seventh place finish on the line, Petite rallied for two reversals and a takedown to pull within 14-10 in the final 30 seconds. However, Rogovitch managed an escape with 12 seconds remaining to take the match 15-10.
Update: 1:00 p.m.
113 lb. 7th Place Match
Hunterdon Central sophomore Hunter Graf completed his 2015-16 season with a loss in the seventh place match to DePaul junior Daniel Percelay by a 5-0 decision.
Graf hit the mat in the first period as a result from a Percelay takedown. The same sequence repeated in the second period to give Percelay the final score lead of 5-0.
Both wrestlers started the tournament with first round byes, only to meet in the final consolation match.
Update: 12:35 p.m.
106 lb. 5th Place Match
South Plainfield sophomore Joe Heilmann walked away from Atlantic City with a victory in the fifth place match by pinning St. Peter's Prep sophomore Michael Kelly in the second period.
Heilmann went to work early, taking Kelly down to the mat just 30 seconds into the first period. Beyond that, the two wrestlers moved around without much advancement to finish out the period.
Kelly failed to capitalize against Heilmann in the second period, leaving himself open for a second takedown. After getting Kelly to the mat this time Heilmann secured a pin and the victory.
Update: 12:20 p.m.
126 lb. 3rd Place Match
Roxbury's Troy Stanich finished his 2015-16 season in fourth place, a personal best, after losing to Kingsway's Quinn Kinner, 4-0.
Kinner picked up two points on a second period takedown, then two more in the third on a reversal to seal the match.
The both wrestlers lost in Saturday night's semifinals before meeting in the consolation finals.
Update: 12:15 p.m.
106 lb. 3rd Place Match:
Roselle Park's Chris Gural lost by pinfall in the final six seconds of his third place match to Pope John's Joseph Aragona.
Gural was leading 3-2 in the second period after receiving a technical point and an escape with 1:04 to go in the middle frame. However, Aragona tallied the next seven points on three takedowns and an escape before ending the match prematurely with a pin.