The State Regional Wrestling Championships have a new look and feel in 2021. Instead of the usual eight locations, there are four host sites and two normal regions are combined to make up North 1, North 2, Central, and South Regions for this year with just 16 grapplers at each weight.
Across two days, the lowerweights went on Saturday (106 pounds to 145) and the upperweights will go on Sunday (152-285).
For South Plainfield High School, it sent 11 of its 14 wrestlers to the North 2 Region held at Union High.
Saturday, second-seeded Jeffrey Jacome at 106 pounds and second-seeded Anthony White at 145 pounds each placed second at their respective weights. Ninth-seeded J.J. Giordano took fifth at 126 pounds as well.
Fifth-seeded Jacob DelVecchio (120), 14th-seeded Julian Irizarry (132), and 15th-seeded Andrew Loniewski (138) all lost their first round matches and were eliminated.
White started his run with a pin in 27 seconds against Becton’s 15th-seeded Jordan Stallone. He then won by major decision, 9-1, against Nicholas Stampoulos, seeded seventh, from Brearley. In the semifinals, White, who is headed to Rutgers in the fall, defeated sixth-seeded Felix Lettini of St. Peter’s Prep, 6-2. He then was edged in sudden victory, 3-1, to top-seeded Simon Ruiz from Delbarton.
Ruiz and White have a history of late as White beat Ruiz in overtime in the quarterfinals at last year’s state championships, but Ruiz came back to top Ruiz in the third-place bout. Ruiz also won at the Mobbin Classic this past February. White is a two-time region champion, including last year in Region 5 at 132.
White is 11-1 on the year and ranked No. 2 at his weight by NJ.com.
Jacome topped 15th-seeded Sean Markey of Bound Brook in the first round, 8-2. He followed that up with a 10-0 major decision against seventh-seeded Matthew Griffin from Roselle Park in the quarterfinals. Jacome, in the semifinals, won a marathon 2-1 match in the ultimate tiebreaker over third-seeded Logan Wadle of North Hunterdon. In the championship match, Jacome fell 41 to fourth-seeded Daniel Jones from Delbarton.
Jacome, ranked No. 7 at his weight by NJ.com, is 10-1 this season.
Giordano began his day with a 3-1 victory over West Orange’s eighth-seeded Damianlee Torres. Giordano, in the quarterfinals, lost 7-0 to top-seeded Patrick Adams of St. Peter’s Prep, but he came back with a 5-3 win against Bridgewater-Raritan’s 12th-seeded Daniel Smith in the wrestleback quarterfinal.
Giordano dropped a 7-2 decision to third-seeded Chris Tringali from Mendham in the wrestleback semifinal, but he was able top sixth-seeded Amajuwan Murray of Rahway, 9-3, in the fifth-place bout.
At 120 pounds, DelVecchio lost a tight 5-3 match to 12th-seeded Todd Walsh from Whippany Park.Irizarry fell by tech fall, 15-0 in 2:09 to Brearley’s third-seeded Patrick Phillips at 132. At 138, Loniewski was pinned by second-seeded Justin Cantor of North Bergen in 2:23.
South Plainfield as a team is ranked No. 6 in the state and is 7-0. Sunday, Nicholas Campagna (152), Tyler Balent (160), Xavier Santos (170) will wrestle starting in the 10 a.m. session and Thomas Renna (195) and Austin Scott (285) will grapple at 4:00 p.m.
Renna is the top seed at his weight and is ranked No. 7 in the state.
The top four finishers at each weight in each region advance to the state individual championships next weekend at Phillipsburg High. There are also alternates.
Stay tuned to more from South Plainfield TAP.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisNalwasky.