Three Colts grapplers earned gold medals on Feb. 21 at Red Bank Regional High School. CBA’s Sebastian Rivera, a 113-pound junior, completed back-to-back District 22 titles when he defeated Jason Hernandez of Raritan High School in the finals. The win extended Rivera’s undefeated record this season.
Junior Chris Koutzen became a district champion despite being the underdog at 160 pounds. The third-seeded grappler upset Raritan’s Nick Bohal, the top seed, to give CBA its first title winner of the day.
Later, Rich Koehler continued an impressive freshman season when he pinned 106-pound finalist Sean Deering of Middletown High School North.
The Colts defended their team title with a total of seven finalists. CBA amassed 176.5 points, ahead of Long Branch High School’s 165 points, for its third district championship. Ocean Township High School took third place.
Four members of CBA’s junior class were runners-up. Jack LaCorte earned a silver medal at 182 pounds, falling victim to a pin by Middletown North’s Anthony Vetrano. Fellow junior Will Oxley (220) also lost to a Middletown North wrestler, Chad Freshnock, in the finals.
Carl Vasti (120) placed second after falling to first-seeded Jake Benner of Ocean Township. At 126 pounds, Dylan VanSickell lost to Long Branch’s Andy Hernandez, marking his first loss of the winter. Middletown North, which finished fifth in the team rankings, had a strong showing. In addition to Freshnock and Vetrano, Paul Capaldo was victorious in the 145-pound championship bout against Mike Chadwick, a No. 2 seed from Raritan.
Crosstown rival Middletown High School South had a champion at 152 pounds. Matt Best defeated T.J. Saldutti of Ocean Township for the title.
Ocean Township’s Zack Hertling, who pinned Long Branch’s Mike Shohet for the 170-pound title, was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the District 22 tournament. Hertling won gold after missing the postseason last year because of an injured knee.
Unbeaten Keansburg High School senior Tyree Sutton won his second district title — and his first since 2012. Sutton (195) pinned Middletown South’s Sean Killeen for the win.
Long Branch junior John Tomlinson won the heavyweight title against Ocean Township’s Brian Olesen. His pin gave the Green Wave a late boost on its way to a second place finish.
Raritan capped the 2015 District 22 tournament with two champions. Dylan Seidenberg was a winner at 132 pounds over No. 1-seed Marcus Iwama, a standout senior at Rumson-Fair Haven. The Raritan senior became the third Seidenberg brother to bring home gold from districts. Older brothers Dave and Dan were two- and three-time champions, respectively.
Eric Drake, also a Raritan senior, defeated Red Bank Regional’s Jack McMahon for the 138-pound championship.
The road to Atlantic City continues this week. The top three District 22 wrestlers in each weight class will hit the mats in the Region 6 tournament.
Those who won their third-place consolation matches to extend their seasons are Alex Erven, Keyport High School (106); Davie Tieto, Ocean Township (113); Russell Benson, Raritan (120); Chris Donnelly, Ocean Township (126); Jiovani Gomez, Long Branch (132); Tommy Flannagan, Long Branch (138); Thomas Hinz, Red Bank Regional (145); Garrett Fitzgerald, CBA (152); Lamont Reid, Long Branch (160); Fred Svenson, Middletown North (170); Tucker Briggs, Rumson-Fair Haven (182); Viet Le, Ocean Township (195); Joey Jasio, Long Branch (220); and Malcolm Daniels, Raritan (heavyweight).
The first round was scheduled to begin Feb. 25 at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River. Quarterfinals will take place on Feb. 27, and the tournament will wrap up a day later.
The NJSIAA individual championships will be hosted at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall from March 6-8.