WEST ORANGE, NJ -- Adonis May of West Orange pinned Nicholas Olivieri of Delbarton in 4:57 on Saturday to win the championship of the 182-pound weight class at the NJSIAA Region 3 Tournament.
May, who was seeded second ay 182, had a first-round bye before defeating Eddie Padilla of Livingston, 9-1, in the quarterfinal round. May followed that with a 5-1 decision over Zach Andruchowitz of Bloomfield in the semifinals.
Another West Orange wrestler who enjoyed a big weekend was Daniel Pereira. The 11th seed in the 195-pound class, Pereira defeated three higher-seeded wrestlers en route to a berth in the 195-pound championship bout.
Pereira started by pinning sixth-seeded Zach Rossow of Whippany Park in 2:30 in the first round. Then, he eliminated third-seeded Matt Mauricio of Kearny with a 4-2 victory in the quarterfinals. Pereira got past second-seeded Gianluca Birnbaum, 4-3, in the semifinals.
In the championship round, Delbarton's Luke Chakonis, the No. 1 seed, finally defeated Pereira with a pin in 48 seconds. Pereira's previous victories, however, were enough to qualify him as well as his teammate May for the championship weekend at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall next week.
Adonis and Danny had great tournaments," began Coach Steve Zichella.
"We felt going in that Adonis would have competitive matches throughout, but with his rapid improvement throughout the year, we thought he could win it. For him to finish the way he did, with a throw to a pin in a close match, in his home match, was a special moment," he explained.
"Adonis is an elite athlete," Zichella said. "He has recently signed and committed to LIU (Long Island University) for football. I'm sure they know they're getting a great athlete, but they'll soon discover what a wonderful person he is as well. He's one of the hardest working wrestlers in our program and everything just comes easy to him. My assistants showed a polish throw just last week, and that was the same move he hit to win the regional championship," he went on to say.
"Danny has a great story as well," Zichella added. "This season we made the decision to go 195 instead of 170. We knew it would be the best weight for him to get through the districts and we felt if he could peak at the right time, he could punch his ticket to Atlantic City. Danny has been flying under the radar all year, but some of the local coaches have recognized his ability. As the 15th seed at the Essex County Wrestling Tournament, Danny placed fourth. At the district tournament, Danny earned a third-place finish. For him to place second in this year's regional tournament is a credit to his development and determination. Danny has a strong passion for wrestling, and you can see it in everything he does."