FLANDERS—Santiago Arango may not have walked away from Mount Olive High School with a Morris County Tournament title in tow, but he made it further in the tournament than anyone on the Dodgers wrestling squad.
The senior, representing the Maroon & Gold in the 220 pound weight class, unofficially tied for 7th place at the event. Only the Top 6 finishers are officially placed at the MCT.
“I want to use this experience to hit my goals down the line: Districts, Regions, and making the state tournament,” said Arango, who was also a standout lineman for the state titlist Madison football squad, “It means a lot to represent Madison here. I look at it as a reflection of my hard work, and the effort my coaches and teammates put in every day in the wrestling room.”
Seeded No. 1 at 220 before the tournament, Arango made quick work of Hanover Park’s Dan Corcoran in the pre-quarterfinals on Friday night, pinning in just one minute and 33 seconds.
However, in the quarterfinals, Arango dropped a close match to Pequannock’s Jacob Foukas, 3-1, in an overtime tiebreaker.
In his first consolation match, Arango was in a scoreless tie with Montville’s Liridon Leka after two periods. However, Leka was able to secure the pin 37 seconds into the final period to end Madison’s 2016 Morris County Tournament.
“I’m disappointed for Santi, but we looked at this as gravy going in,” said Dodgers coach Mike Goodwin, “There are some things that we’ll need to work on going forward, but going against this type of competition will help him—and our whole team—with Districts coming up”
Only managing 12 team points, Madison finished 22nd in the 24 team field. Thanks to his advancement points and pin, Arango registered 6 of them personally.
Dan Sirna, Madison’s 145 pound man, scored 4 points by virtue of pinning Chatham’s William Larkey in the preliminary round of that weight class. Petar Haboj—a tremendous football player for the Dodgers—earned the last 2 points by defeating Mount Olive’s David Oppis in the preliminary.