Manalapan High School’s wrestling team had three champions of the Shore Conference four champions Saturday night in the season-opening Neptune Classic at Neptune High School.
Monroe won the 16-team tournament. North Hunterdon was second and Bound Brook, the No. 2 ranked team in the New Jersey Wrestling Writers Association Top 20 Poll, was third. Bound Brook did not send several of the heavy hitters in its lineup to the tournament.
Manalapan’s champions were Jake Kaminsky (145), Anthony Benedetti (182) and Ben Aquilina (220). Kaminsky won his final by technical fall over Jackson Liberty’s Dominick Regina. Benedetti won his final by disqualification over Vineland’s Ty Cosby. Aquilina, a two-time District 21 placewinner, defeated top seed Ronald Picardo of Bound Brook, 6-3.
Jackson Liberty’s Mike Russo (120), the state fourth-place finisher at 106 last year and a two-time state qualifier, was the Shore’s other champion.
TCNJ PRIDE TOURNAMENT: Brick Memorial, ranked No. 9 in the New Jersey Wrestling Writers Association Top 20 Poll and No. 1 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10, had six champions and rolled to the team title by 99 points over Toms River South at The College of New Jersey.
The Mustangs’ champions were freshman Ghianni Ghione (106), who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, Jose Bocalman (126), Rob Ruggiero (145), Alec Donovan (152), Nick Costa (182), and Tyler Poling (220).
Toms River South had four champions in Owen McClave (113), Joe Salvato (160), Antrez Clagon (170) and James Kearney (heavyweight).
Point Boro’s Ryan Budzek, won the title at 132 by defeating Toms River South’s Brandon Murray in the semifinals. He then won by default in the final when Brick Memorial senior Joe Ghione had to default because of an elbow injury he sustained in the semifinals, Brick Memorial coach Mike Denver said.
ROBIN LEFF INVITATIONAL: Jackson Memorial senior Ken Bradley, the Region VI third-place finisher and a state quarterfinalist at 195 last year, defeated Moorestown’s Tyreek Smith, 4-2, in the 220-pound final. Smith was the state eighth-place finisher at 195 last year.
Southern had five champions in Chris Crane (120), Bryan Brown (132), Zach Wilhelm (145), the state eighth-place finisher at 112 in 2011, Nick Racanelli (152) and Gerado Jorge (170).
Jackson Memorial had three other champions in Fred Terranova (113), Connor Bohringer (182) and Brody Graham (heavyweight).
Barnegat’s Greg Moran (195) was the other champion from the Shore.
COLT CLASSIC: Seven Shore Conference athletes won titles at CBA.
Winning were CBA’s Sebastian Rivera (106), Wall’s Denzel Tovar (113), CBA’s Erik Beshada (138), Wall’s Brett Donner (160), Brick’s Dean Sherry (170), CBA’s Michael Oxley (195) and Point Pleasant Beach’s Tommy D’Amore (285)
Oxley, the Region VI champion at 195 last year, defeated High Point’s Kyle Stoll, the state sixth-place finisher at 195 last year, 2-0.
ICEBREAKER TOURNAMENT: Host Matawan crowned three champions in Khalil Haskins (132), William Rodriguez (145) and James Pierce (152). Monsignor Donovan’s Dom DiSalvo prevailed at 182.
THE JOHN AND BETTY VOGEDING TOURNAMENT: Howell, ranked No. 10 in the NJWWA Top 20 and No. 2 in the APP Top 10, won the team title by 19 points over host Paulsboro, which is ranked No. 13 in the NJWWA Top 20.
Howell had four champions in sophomore Pete Dee (106), senior Jimmy Slendorn (120), sophomore Anthony Gagliano (126) and senior Josue Pierre-Louis (138). Rebels senior Kyle Cocozza (220) was second.
Louis defeated Paulsboro’s Juan Rivera, the Region VIII runner-up at 138 last year, 6-3.
BEAST OF THE EAST: Ocean junior Zach Hertling (152) recorded two first period pins and won his third bout by technical fall in 2:44 to advance to the quarterfinals in the prestigious national tournament at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del.
Hertling, the state third-place finisher at 120 in 2012 and the state fourth-place finisher at 132 last year, will meet No. 7 seed Justus Weaver of Battlefield (Va.) this morning in the quarterfinals. The tournament concludes today with the quarterfinals, semifinals, championship bouts, wrestleback bouts and third, fifth and seventh-place bouts.
Ocean is currently 29th in the 106-team tournament with 39 points.
PINE BARRENS CLASSIC: Shore senior heavyweight Dave Musselman won the tournament championship for his first tournament title in the event at Shawnee High School.
Shore’s third-seeded Sam Koenig was second at 145 pounds. He highlighted his showing, hitting a reversal to a cradle with four seconds left in the match to defeat junior two-time district champion John Gallo of A.P. Schalick. Koenig went 2-1, losing to three-time district champ and region winner Connor Muli of Shawnee in the championship bout.
EWING BLUE DEVIL KITASHIMA CLASSIC: Keyport sophomore Alex Erven (106) and senior teammate Darnell Holmes (152) won titles at Ewing.
Erven pinned Lawrenceville Prep’s Arthur Benson in 26 seconds in the finale. Holmes decisioned Rancocas Valley’s Brett Perks 16-10 in the championship bout.
Keyport junior Jake Andrews was second at 145, where he was pinned by Rancocas’ Shane Pastore in the finale. Keyport senior Alex Meza was second at 170, losing to Lawrenceville’s John Davis in the championship bout.
MAHWAH TOURNAMENT: Holmdel junior Pat Ammirati (120) won the Outstanding Wrestler Award for the Hornets.