MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The road to the high-profile NJSIAA Wrestling Tournament in Atlantic City began on Saturday at Middletown South High School with the District 19 Wrestling Championships. Spotswood High School's Zach Weiner won his 132-pound weight class by defeating Marlboro High School's Zach Vasile by an 8-6 decision. Weiner advances to next weekend's regional wrestling tournament. In order to qualify for regionals, a wrestler had to place in the top three in their respective district's competition.
Spotswood's Connor Johnson narrowly missed the opportunity to wrestle at regionals. Johnson finished fourth in the 152-pound weight class. He lost to Middletown South's Owen Fitzgerald by an 8-2 decision.
Weiner boasts an individual record of 17-2 for the Chargers this season. The junior made the varsity wrestling squad as a freshman. Last year, Weiner placed third in his weight class to earn his first trip to regionals.
Saturday's field included wrestlers from host Middletown South, Delaware Valley, Hopewell Valley, Marlboro, Perth Amboy, Matawan-Aberdeen Regional, Manville, West Windsor-Plainsboro North and Monmouth Regional High School. Delaware Valley finished first in the team competition with 163 points. Middletown South was second with 146 points and Hopewell Valley took third with 135.5 points. Spotswood was 10th with 30 points.
Seeding for the regional tournament takes place today. Regional competitions begin on February 26 and continue on February 28 and February 29. This year's State Individual Boys and Girls Wrestling Championships hits the mats at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City March 5 through March 7.
Spotswood has had wrestlers compete in the much-watched Atlantic City state wrestling tournament before. In 2918, Shea Obado wrestled in the 160-pound weight class after finishing third at the regional tournament. Obado was knocked out early in the competition, losing in the first round. Amiran Odzelashvili headed to the championship in 2013. Odzelashvili lost in the second round in the heavyweight division. Jason Mar recorded the highest finish in the Chargers' history in the state wrestling tournament in 2003. Mar placed third in his respective weight class.