Three Central Jersey girls win inaugural state wrestling titles


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Ten girls established New Jersey scholastic history on March 2.

It was on that day when the first state wresting tournament was contested. And 10 girls, including three from Central Jersey, were crowned champions at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

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The NJSIAA, the governing body for scholastic sports in New Jersey, sanctioned girls’ wrestling this winter for the first time.

The girls’ state tournament was held during the same weekend when the boys’ state tournament was wrested at Boardwalk Hall.

Christine Gavasheli of Raritan High School, Jess Johnson of Manalapan High School and Gabby Miller of Monroe Township High School emerged as the champions from Central Jersey.

In the 118-pound championship, Gavasheli pinned Notre Dame High School’s Angelina Romero in 2:31. In the 136-pound title bout, Johnson pinned Montclair High School’s Jaala Williams in 1:39. Miller claimed the 147-pound title with a 6-3 decision over North Bergen High School’s Amanda Pace.

Gavasheli and Johnson controlled their earlier state tournament opponents, too. In the semifinals, the Raritan wrestler and the Manalapan wrestler scored pins in 1:52 and 2:18, respectively. Miller also dominated her semifinal bout, earning a 13-3 major decision.

All three wrestlers are underclassmen, so they should return to Atlantic City in future years. Gavasheli and Miller are only freshmen. Johnson is just a sophomore.

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