Sports

Hunterdon Central's Graf wins 100th

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Hunterdon Central's Hunter Graf, center, was honored on Wednesday for winning his 100th career wrestling match. Credits: courtesy photo
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RARITAN TWP., NJ - Hunter Graf became the fastest Hunterdon Central wrestler to 100 career wins during the District 17 wrestling championships at Hillsborough High School.

Graf pinned Andrew Lacey of Middletown North in the championship bout at 120 pounds to secure his 100th career victory. The 100 career wins is a milestone in itself but it is much more significant since no other Hunterdon Central wrestler had registered 100 wins prior to his senior season.

Graf also picked up victory No. 100 in style. He attacked Lacey off the whistle, took him down and began turning him to his back. He built a stunning 13-0 lead barely more than a minute into the bout then turned Lacey to his back for one final time. He had a lightning quick technical fall wrapped up but closed the match with a flourish, pinning Lacey in 1:12.

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Graf, who enters the Region 5 tournament at Hunterdon Central this weekend at 100-20 in his career, is on pace to break the Hunterdon Central school record next year. Pat Strizki was the state tournament runner-up at 119 pounds in 2007 when he set the Red Devils’ career wins record at 141.

Graf and six teammates begin action at Region 5 at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. The tournament closes on Saturday with the top four wrestlers in each weight class earning a berth in next week’s NJSIAA state tournament. Graf was honored with a plaque before the start of the Region 5 tournament on Wednesday. Joining him were athletic director Mike Raymond, coach Jon Cantagallo and Graf's parents, Kevin and Ellen.

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