Livingston's Jason Estevez celebrates after winning his third place match on Sunday at Boardwalk Hall. Credits: Tim LeCras
Governor Livingston's Jon Mele gets ready for Delbarton's Christian Innarella on Sunday. Innarella beat Mele to place third in the 120 lb. bracket. Credits: Tim LeCras
Summit's Anthony Iarussi awaits his opponent during Sunday's 220 lb. fifth place match at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Credits: Tim LeCras
Westfield's Colin Barber defeated Tyler Loughlin of Becton/Wallingston via pinfall in Ultimate Overtime of the 152 lb. seventh place match. Credits: Tim LeCras
Two Locals Place in Top 4 During State Wrestling Tournament
Sunday, March 10, 2013 • 11:29am
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - The star-studded lineup of New Jersey high school wrestlers took over Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall this weekend.
The standing-room only crowd, that totaled 41,733 fans in the tournament's three days, saw Livingston's Jason Estevez took third place in the 132 lb. tournament bracket, while Governor Livingston's Jon Mele placed fourth in the 120 lb. bracket, both ended their high school career as their respective school's all-time winningest wrestlers.
See below for all of The Alternative Press's student-athletes that made it to Day 3 of the tournaent.
120 lb 3rd Place: Delbarton's Christian Innarella defeated Governor Livingston's Jon Mele by pin in the second period.
Innarella led the entire way. In the opening minute of the first period, he earned two points on a takedown. Mele responded 15 seconds later with a one-point escape, but Innarella earned a two-point reversal at the end of the first period to lead 4-1.
In the second, Mele struck first with an escape out of the "down" position. One minute later, Innarella earned two with a takedown. He then transitioned the move into a pin to beat Mele for the fourth time in his career.
Mele earned fourth place in the 120 lb. state tournament for his first trip to the podium.
Complete story to follow with quotes from Mele and Highlander head coach Rick Iacono.
132 lb. 3rd Place: Livingston's Jason Estevez defeated Ocean Township's Zachary Hertling 3-2 in full time.
Estevez earned the first points of the match in the opening 55 seconds when the senior got two points for a reversal/takedown. Hertling earned a point for an escape in the final 13 seconds of the period to cut Estevez's lead in half.
The two battled back-and-forth in the second, but Hertling put up the only point on a second escape in the last 20 seconds to tie the score.
Estevez earned the deciding point in with 1:38 to go in the match on an escape.
Full story with quotes from Estevez and Livingston head coach Thomas Noto.
145 lb. 5th Place: Trenton Central's Maaziah Bethea defeated West Essex's Mike Marotti, 7-2, in full time.
Bethea took the lead in the first period with a two-point take down. With Marotti down on the mat, he escaped at the end of the period to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
In the second, Marotti opened in the down position and managed another escape to even the match at 2-2. Bethea answered quickly with a two-point takedown then an escape from the down position to open the third.
Ahead 5-2, Bethea sealed the match with another takedown in the third period to win fifth place.
152 lb. 7th Place: Westfield's Colin Barber defeated Tyler Loughlin from Becton/Wallingston via pin in Ultimate Overtime.
Loughlin led 1-0 in the second period off an escape to open the middle frame. Barber evened the match at the start of the third when Loughlin declined to start from the bottom.
The two grappled through two overtime periods before Barber gained momentum in the third OT. In the final 10 seconds, Barber pinned Loughlin before time expired to win the match.
220 lb. 5th Place: Hopewell Valley's Mike Markulec defeated Summit's Anthony Iarussi, 4-2
Markulec led first when he earned an escape point three seconds into the second period. Iarussi followed with a two-point takedown to take a 2-1 lead.
The Hopewell Valley junior tied the score at the end of the second with another escape point. Then in the third, Markulec earned two more points on a takedown to win the match.
Iarussi finished his final state tournament in 6th place. He will play football at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
285 lb. 5th Place: Bound Brook's Stephen Johnson defeated Scotch Plains-Fanwood's Anthony Tufaro, 3-1, in Ultimate Overtime.
Johnson and Tufaro grappled to a 1-1 tie after three periods. In the overtime, Johnson fought Tufaro to the ground 29 seconds in to earn two points and fifth place in the heavyweight division.