Bulldogs take wrestling tourney title over weekend

Jachim, Szwast win weight classes to pace Metuchen to team win


The Metuchen High School wrestling teamsent 10 Bulldogs into the semifinal round at the Buc Classic at Red Bank Regional High School over the weekend en route to scoring 174 team points to take home the title.

JEFF GRANIT staff Above: Metuchen's Sam Vinci (bottom) has a hold of JFK's Joe Creighton during their 140-pound match in Woodbridge on Jan. 9. Right: Metuchen's Jake Freed braces himself while wrestling Mike Buttitta in their 103-pound bout. JEFF GRANIT staff Above: Metuchen’s Sam Vinci (bottom) has a hold of JFK’s Joe Creighton during their 140-pound match in Woodbridge on Jan. 9. Right: Metuchen’s Jake Freed braces himself while wrestling Mike Buttitta in their 103-pound bout. Metuchen’s Mike Jachim and Marek Szwast led the way, winning titles at 135 and 215 pounds, respectively. Both Jachim and Szwast pinned all three of their opponents to cruise to the top of the podium for the second straight year at the event. Jachim improved to 15-1 on the season while Szwast remained unbeaten at 14-0.

“Mike has really found his groove after his lone loss early in the season,” Metuchen head coach Ed Angus said. “He was very impressive this weekend and pinned his opponent in the finals in just 34 seconds.”

Szwast needed no more than 40 seconds in each of his three wins at Red Bank as all three of his opponents were pinned in prompt fashion.

“We wrestled well at every weight class,” Angus said. “Ten of our 14 guys wrestled in the semis, and 11 ended up placing in the top five. This was a real nice win for us. This is the first time we’ve won an event as a team since winning the JFK Holiday Tournament back in 1996.”

Metuchen’s Sam Vinci and Ben Hohmann took home second-place honors at 140 and 152 pounds, respectively.

“This was the best Samhas wrestled all season,” Angus said. “He pinned his first two opponents before running into a very good wrestler from Ewing in the finals. Sam has been Mike Jachim’s training partner, and they’ve battled each other all season. The competition has benefited both guys.”

Hohmann also had the misfortune of going head-to-head with a Ewing grappler in the finals and falling just short of a title.

Atrio of Bulldogs took third and helped solidify the team win with victories in the consolation round. Jake Freed (103), Brody Gordon (112) and Ethan Grossman (189) locked up the team win after the Bulldogs put together an outstanding quarterfinal round. In the quarterfinals, all 10 of Metuchen’s wrestlers won via pin.

“Our performance in the quarterfinals gave us a nice lead,” Angus said. “It was a great round, but we needed Jake, Brody and Ethan to win their consolation matches to lock it up.”

The strong performance in both the quarters and consolations helped give the Bulldogs a lead that would ultimately outdistance second-place finisher Penns Grove by 30 points.

James Rasmussen (119), SeanAquadro (125) and Kevin Walsh (160) wrestled to fourth-place finishes for the Dogs.

“This was a nice start to build something off,” Angus said. “We’re currently 3- 4 in dualmeets and looking forward to this weekend’s action.”

Metuchen will travel to New Egypt to compete in a dual meet with the host school and Red Bank Catholic. Matches are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Jan. 19.