ATLATIC CITY, NJ — Jack Miller made the most of his only trip to Atlantic City.
The Westfield senior qualified for the NJSIAA Individual Championships for the first time this season and didn’t leave empty handed.
Given the No. 15 seed, Miller got knocked out in the second round, only to fight his way back through the second chance bracket, winning four times to reach and win the fifth-place match at 195 pounds.
“This is my first time to AC and it feel great to be leaving with a medal,” Miller said. “All the hard work, sweat, all the hard practices, it’s all worth it now.”
His fifth-place match against Sean Lenzsch of St. Augustine Prep, Miller found himself trailing early. Getting taken down in the first, he was down 3-1 midway through the second period.
Riding the hammer lock, Miller took down Lenzsch with 20 seconds remaining in the second period and added three back points to lead 6-3 going into the final two minutes.
“The first period I thought I had a decent shot but he defended it well,” Miller said. “I tried to finish it but he scrambled well. In the second I was able to finish it.”
Miller added another point in the third period to make the final score 7-3 in his favor.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Miller said of experiencing the championships in Atlantic City. “I love wrestling every day, competing and getting to face the best.”
Miller ends his senior campaign with a 46-6 record.
The two other Westfield wrestlers to make the championships were freshman CJ Composto at 106 pounds and senior Phil Ricca at 220 pounds.
Composto, the No. 21 seed dropped his first round match. He would come back and win his first two wrestle backs before being eliminated with a 2-2 record.
Ricca faced a much tougher draw as the No. 30 seed and lost both to be eliminated.