Wrestlers from all over Middlesex County hit the mats at the NJSIAA Region 5 tournament with their sights set advancing to the state tournament in Atlantic City.
Monroe Township High School will send three wrestlers to Boardwalk Hall from March 2-4 for the state tournament after they qualified at the regional competition on Feb. 21 and 23-24 at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington.
Kaylon Bradley was Monroe’s sole regional champion. He decisioned Justin Acevedo of Raritan High School, 3-2, at 195 pounds. Bradley finished fourth in the same weight class in last year’s Region 5 tournament.
“My goal was to win the region and place at the top in states,” Bradley said. “I wrestled a lot of great wrestlers here. I think that will really help me down in AC. You beat guys that are 6 feet 4 inches [tall] at 195 [pounds], you’re in good shape.”
Monroe also had two wrestlers finish in fourth place, which gave them tickets to Atlantic City.
The top four finishers from each weight class from each of the eight regions qualified for the state tournament.
Joseph Fiordaliso lost an 8-0 decision to Joseph Pacheco of Perth Amboy High School at 106 pounds, while his Monroe teammate, Andrew Lombard, suffered a 3-1 setback in the 138-pound weight class to Hunterdon Central’s Pasquale Vizzoni.
Fifth-place finishers for Monroe were Nicholas Weikel, who won a 1-0 decision against Jacob Mitchell of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North at 160 pounds, and Justin Hopman, who won in the fifth-place match of the 170-pound weight class via forfeit.
East Brunswick High School sent only one wrestler to Region 5, but that was one of New Jersey’s finest in Mitchell Polito.
Polito retained a Region 5 championship when he pinned Hunterdon Central’s Jack Bauer in 4:32 in the title bout at 120 pounds.
Politoto won the Region 5 title at 113 pounds in 2017 and then he went on to place third in the state tournament at that weight class.
Spotswood High School will be represented in Atlantic City by Shea Obado, who placed third at Region 5 when he decisioned Raritan’s Anthony Aquilano, 6-4, at 160 pounds.
Old Bridge High School and Sayreville War Memorial High School will each send a wrestler to the state tournament after both schools came away from Region 5 with a third-place finisher.
For Old Bridge, Jake Wiatroski defeated Tyler Pepe of Saint John Vianney High School by decision, 3-2, at 120 pounds. Trevor Mastorio of Sayreville won a 12-4 decision over Hillsborough High School’s Raymond O’Callaghan at 145.
Old Bridge’s Mike Botte forfeited to South Brunswick High School’s Jonathan Lamprecht to place sixth at 126 pounds.
North Brunswick Township High School had one wrestler place high enough in regionals to advance to the state tournament. Kenneth Abode came in fourth place at 182 pounds after being pinned by Raritan’s George Burdick in 1:01.
South River High School’s lone wrestler at Region 5, Leandro Santos, came in sixth place at 138 pounds.