UNION, NJ – Watchung Hills grappler Justin Hayward punched his ticket to the 2017 NJSIAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament in Atlantic City with a Top 4 finish in Saturday’s Region 4 tournament. The top four finishers compete in the states. Four Warriors placed fifth.
As memorable as the wrestling was, this year's District 4 Tournament may best be remembered by the entire gym standing and singing the National Anthem acapella when the audio failed.
Hayward upset Cranford's Brian McGovern 5-3 to advance to the semifinals, where he fell to Michael Fernandes of Voorhees, 12-3. And then in the rematch for third, fell to McGovern, 10-2.
Four Warriors came in fifth place.
At 120 lbs, Danny Miller defeated Jon A Mejia, Roselle Park, 5-2
At 132 lbs, Rob Saum defeated Tyler Leeds, Somerville, SV 2-5-3
At 145 lbs, Marc Larson won by forfeit over Michael Acitelli, Summit.
And at 170 lbs, Griffin Rocco defeated Isaiah Reese, Westfield, 6-4.
Seeding for the state championship tournament is scheduled to take place on Monday.
The NJSIAA Individual Wrestling State Championship begins on Friday afternoon at Boardwalk Hall and culminates in state title bouts on Sunday afternoon.
The Region 4 final results are:
285 pounds: Alex Esposito of Cranford defeated Alexander LaGrippo of Woodbridge via decision (3-0)
220 pounds: Zach DelVecchio of South Plainfied defeated Farhan Khan of Carteret via sudden victory
195 pounds: Van Miller of Bridgewater-Raritan defeated Lewis Fernandes of Voorhees via sudden victory
182 pounds: Sam Wustefeld of Scotch Plains-Fanwood defeated Turner Haddad of Governor Livingston via decision (7-4)
170 pounds: Bryan McLaughlin of Woodbridge defeated Aidan Monteverdi of Seton Hall Prep via major decision (9-1)
160 pounds: Marquan Payne of Woodbridge defeated Michael Fernandes of Voorhees via decision (4-3)
152 pounds: T.J. Calas of Seton Hall Prep defeated Nick Zuena of Union via decision (5-0)
145 pounds: Nick Santos of St. Peter’s Prep defeated Jeff Johnson of Middlesex via sudden victory
138 pounds: Bob Dinger of Middlesex defeated Tom DiGiovanni via major decision (11-3)
132 pounds: Chris Scorese of Cranford defeated Chris Fuschetto of Arthur Johnson HS via decision (3-1)
126 pounds: Rhise Royster of Rahway defeated Jake Giordano via decision (3-2)
120 pounds: Michael Kelly of St. Peter’s Prep defeated Joe Heilmann of South Plainfield via decision (3-0)
113 pounds: Mark Montgomery of Roselle Park defeated Anthony Capeca of Cranford via decision (1-0)
106 pounds: CJ Composto of Westfield defeated Larry Melchionda of Seton Hall Prep via pin (1:16)