ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - One last desperation move was Michael Petite’s message to his Piscataway coaches.
Trailing by two in the final seconds of his third-place match, Petite wanted to show his coaches that he wasn’t going down without a fight.
Unfortunately, Petite couldn’t finish the last second move to lose 7-5 to Christopher Foca of Bergen Catholic in the fourth place match of the NJSIAA Individual Championships Sunday at Atlantic City.
“Coach was telling me to give him something so I tried my hardest to give him something,” Petite said. “I didn’t want to just lay there flat on my stomach so I was trying to show my coach I was trying to show him something.”
Entering the tournament as the No. 5 seed, Petite made it to the semifinal before losing to top-seed Mekhi Lewis of Bound Brook.
The fourth place finish continues Petite’s progression in Atlantic City. It’s the junior’s best finish after placing eighth last year and making it but not placing as a freshman.
“This is my best tournament I’ve ever wrestled at Atlantic City,” Petite said. “I was happy with myself. Not happy I lost my match but that I was there.”
Falling behind 5-0 in the first period, Petite made back the points late in the second. Starting on bottom, he reversed Foca and added three back points to even the score heading into the final period.
Foca then did the same to Petite and reversed him and Petite couldn’t make the last move he needed to win.
“It’s kind of bittersweet because I could have tied it up at the end and then my conditioning would have kicked in,” Petite said. “Training is hard but I would have been so excited and it would have been a huge momentum swing.”
Petite finishes the season with a 40-6 record.
Three other Piscataway wrestlers advanced to the Championship tournament. Sophomore Joseph Hatcher had the best finish of the rest going 3-2 at 152 pounds.
Senior Samuel Rogers faced the top-seed in the opening round but won his wrestleback to go 1-2 at 220 pounds and sophomore Nick Recine finished 0-2 at 170 pounds.
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