HAMPTON, VA-The South Plainfield High School wrestling team fell short in their semifinal and third place matches in the Virginia Duals tournament on Saturday to finish the weekend 2-2 at the highly competitive event.
The Tigers (12-3) earned their way to the semifinals of the 38th Virginia Duals’ National High School tournament by defeating Skyline High School (Va) and St. Paul’s (Md.) in the first and quarterfinal rounds on Friday. In the semifinals, South Plainfield drew a familiar opponent in Erie Cathedral Prep (Pa.). South Plainfield defeated Erie Cathedral twice last year en-route to a third place finish in the tournament.
This year the Pennsylvania school, which is ranked No. 45 in the nation according to Intermat, came out on top. While the match was certainly competitive, pin losses at 160, 170 and 113 combined with a forfeit at 285 pounds saw South Plainfield conceded a 36-22 defeat.
The Tigers continued the double-elimination tournament with a consolation dual against Christiansburg (Va.). The battle in the third place bracket was just as contested as one might as expect. The dual came down to the wire, and Ty Kwak’s 6-5 decision win over Luke Niemeyer and Andy Smith's 4:32 pin over Julian Medina clinched a 39-28 victory for the Virginia squad.
Zach DelVecchio, Joe Heilmann, Joe Sacco and Anthony White went a perfect 4-0 during the competition. All four of Heilmann’s victories came by pin or tech fall, and the standout 126-pound senior finished with 56 total match points and was the only competitor to earn three tech falls. DelVecchio finished with three pins and one major decision while competing at 220 and 285 pounds.
Erie Cathedral went on to take first place in the tournament.
South Plainfield will continue their season on Wednesday with a road dual against Piscataway.