7 wrestlers from Union County schools earn medals at NJSIAA Tournament; Roselle Park sophomore standout Montgomery – a UCT, D15 and R4 champion – reaches quarterfinals at 113

Of the 20 wrestlers from Union County high schools that qualified for the states out of Region 4 at Union, seven went on to win medals at last weekend’s highly-competitive, season-ending NJSIAA Tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Although Union County failed to produce a state champion for the sixth straight season and for the eighth time in the past nine years, two grapplers managed to reach the semifinals – Cranford senior Tom DiGiovanni at 138 and Scotch Plains-Fanwood junior Sam Wustefeld at 182 – with Wustefeld moving on to Sunday’s finals and placing second.
Wustefeld, the ninth seed, came oh so close to becoming only the fourth state champion from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and the first since Rudy Lanza won the 136 weight class 50 years ago in 1967.
Bound Brook senior George Walton, the second seed, scored two points in the final 20 seconds and then came away with a 5-4 victory for his 110th career win.
Wustefeld finished 36-3 this year and including a 7-10 mark his freshman campaign and 23-4 record last year, will enter his senior season in December at 66-17. Wustefeld reached the NJSIAA Tournament for the first time last year after placing third at 170 in Region 3 at Union. Before that Wustefeld was last year’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award winner at District 11 at Westfield when he won the 170 championship.
Wustefeld stunned top-seeded Shane Sosinsky of Northern Highlands in Saturday’s quarterfinals, winning by fall in 7:52 of the second overtime period. Sosinky entered the match undefeated at 40-0.
Then in the semifinals Wustefeld won in OT again, this time edging fifth-seeded LJ Castellano of Delbarton by the tiebreaker score of 4-3.
Wustefeld, who also for the first time won Union County Tournament at Union, District 13 at Scotch Plains and Region 4 at Union championships this season, finished 4-1 in his five NJSIAA Tournament matches, with two of the victories coming by pin.
Next year Wustefeld will have one more opportunity to join the three state champions Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School has produced, including Lanza, Steve Parker at 148 in 1966 and Harry Wowchuck at 141 in 1965.
Of the six wrestlers that advanced to the NJSIAA Tournament from Cranford, four managed to earn medals, including senior Chris Scorese seventh at 132, DiGiovanni sixth at 138, Vince Concina fifth at 170 and Alex Esposito seventh at heavyweight.
DiGiovanni, Concina and Esposito reached the quarterfinals.
Roselle Park sophomore Mark Montgomery also reached the quarterfinals at 113. He finished 32-1 with 18 wins by fall after producing a 19-3 record that included six victories by fall last year.
Montgomery, who captured UCT, District 15 at Westfield and Region 4 championships, will enter his junior season with a combined two-year record of 51-4.
Other medal winners from Union County schools included Summit’s Philip Angelo eighth at 138 and Westfield’s Jack Miller fifth at 195.
The last state champion from a Union County high school was Westfield senior Christian Barber winning 152 in 2011. Before that it was Brearley senior Jesse Boyden capturing 215 in 2008.
Union senior Nick Zuena, the lone Farmer to advance to the NJSIAA Tournament after placing second in Region 4 at 152, was defeated by Caldwell’s Gerald Jones 4-0 in Friday night’s preliminary round.
Zuena became Union’s first UCT champion this year since 2005 and then reached and surpassed 100 career wins. Zuena entered the NJSIAA Tournament with a record of 34-3 that included UCT and District 16 at Millburn championships.

2017 NJSIAA TOURNAMENT
ATLANTIC CITY’S BOARDWALK HALL
UNION COUNTY GRAPPLERS

REACHED QUARTERFINALS:
113 – Mark Montgomery, Roselle Park
138 – Tom DiGiovanni, Cranford
170 – Vince Concina, Cranford
182 – Sam Wustefeld, Scotch Plains
HWT – Alex Esposito, Cranford

REACHED SEMIFINALS:
138 – Tom DiGiovanni, Cranford
182 – Sam Wustefeld, Scotch Plains

REACHED FINALS:
182 – Sam Wustefeld, Scotch Plains

MEDAL WINNERS:
(top 8 in the state in their weight class)
132 – Chris Scorese, Cranford, 7th
138 – Tom DiGiovanni, Cranford, 6th
138 – Philip Angelo, Summit, 8th
170 – Vince Concina, Cranford, 5th
182 – Sam Wustefeld, Scotch Plains, 2nd
195 – Jack Miller, Westfield, 5th
HWT – Alex Esposito, Cranford, 7th

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