Seton Hall Prep wrestling team advances five to state tournament, led by Region 4 champion TJ Calas

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The Seton Hall Prep wrestling team continued its great season at the Region 4 tournament held at Union High School, Feb. 22, 24-25, as the Pirates had a school-record five wrestlers qualify for the NJSIAA state tournament to be held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, March 3-5.

The team sent 12 to the region tournament, which tied a school record for region qualifiers set in 1970.

The top four finishers in each weight class in the region tournament qualified for the state tournament.

For the Pirates, TJ Calas won the 152-pound weight class; Larry Melchionda and Aidan Monteverdi each finished second at the 106-pound and 170-pound weight classes, respectively; Charlie Cunningham finished third at the 126-pound class; and Maguire Pecci finished fourth at the 120-pound class.

The following are their results:

152-pound final: Calas decisioned Nick Zuena (Union), 5-0.

106-pound final: CJ Composto (Westfield) pinned Melchionda, 1:16.

170-pound final: Bryan McLaughlin (Woodbridge) major decisioned Monteverdi, 9-1.

126-pound third-place bout: Cunningham pinned Matt Sacco (Bridgewater-Raritan), 3:18.

120-pound third-place bout: Sabri Murray (Rahway) decisioned Pecci, 4-3.

Jake Smith and Jonathan Alvarado each finished fifth at the 138-pound and 220-pound classes, respectively, for the Pirates. They both won by forfeits in their fifth-place consolation bouts.

Other SHP wrestlers who competed in the region tournament were Niko Diakides (285-pound class), Michael Massa (132), Alex Garcia (145), Danny Young (160), and Zach Merlino (182). Diakides went 1-2, while Massa, Garcia, Young and Merlino each were eliminated in the first round on Feb. 22.

Prior to the region finals, The Paul J. Finn Jr. Foundation, together with the referees of the NJSIAA, presented Monteverdi with The Dr. William Miron Scholarship Award.

This has been an outstanding season for the SHP wrestling program, which had a stellar 25-2 record in the dual-meet season and swept championships in  the Super Essex Conference-American Division, Essex County Tournament and District 13 tournament..