UNION, NJ - For the first time in school history, six Watchung Hills wrestlers punched their tickets to the NJSIAA state championships in Atlantic City next weekend. 

Justin Hayward took first place, Rob Saum took second, Danny Miller, Nick Ciraulo, and Vincent Mattaliano each got third and Jake Stasil came in fourth place in Region 4 on Saturday. Blake Bahna finished in sixth place. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to next weekend’s NJSIAA Individual Wrestling State Championship in Atlantic City at Boardwalk Hall on March 2-4. Both Watchung Hills and South Plainfield each advanced six wrestlers. And for North Plainfield at 195:

3rd Place Match - Luke Niemeyer (So. Plainfield) 36-4 won by fall over Jonathan Guardado (North Plainfield) 19-9 (Fall 1:16)

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Results for Watchung Hills are:


1st Place Match - Justin Hayward (Watchung Hills) 38-1 won by major decision over Niccolo Colucci (St. Peter’s Prep) 26-13 (MD 12-0)


1st Place Match - Owen Smith (New Providence) 36-1 won by decision over Rob Saum (Watchung Hills) 35-6 (Dec 2-1)


3rd Place Match - Danny Miller (Watchung Hills) 33-8 won by fall over Mark Montgomery (Roselle Park) 38-2 (Fall 4:49)


3rd Place Match - Nick Ciraulo (Watchung Hills) 34-7 won by decision over Jon A Mejia (Roselle Park) 36-4 (Dec 3-1)


3rd Place Match - Vincent Mattaliano (Watchung Hills) 32-7 won by fall over Alex Garcia (Seton Hall) 27-9 (Fall 1:18)


3rd Place Match - AJ Bencivenga (Cranford) 27-6 won by decision over Jacob Stasil (Watchung Hills) 32-3 (Dec 12-6)

WHRHS wrestling head coach Dan Smith tweeted, “Warriors sending 6 to AC. Most ever for WH.  Saum and Hayward in finals.  Miller, Ciraulo, Stasil and Mattaliano wrestling for 3rd.  Bahna wrestling for 5th.   Season of firsts for Watching Hills.”

And then,

”Congratulations to the Warrior Region 4 place winners. Champion Justin Hayward, Runner up Rob Saum.  3rd place finishers Danny Miller, Nick Ciraulo and Vince Msttaliano. 4th place Jake Stasil.  6th place Blake Bahna.”