WEST ORANGE, NJ – Seton Hall Prep senior Aidan Monteverdi capped his sensational SHP wrestling career by winning the fourth-place medal at the 170-pound weight class at the NJSIAA state tournament in Atlantic City.
Monteverdi went 4-2 in the tournament to finish with a stellar 40-3 record this season. He is the first SHP wrestler to achieve 40 victories in a season. Monteverdi finished his SHP career with an outstanding 127-28 record.
Monteverdi, the No. 4 seed, had advanced to the semifinals, needing just two wins to become a state champion. But in the semifinals, Monteverdi lost to top-seeded Dominic Mandarino of Don Bosco Prep by a 7-1 decision on Saturday night, March 4.
The next morning, Monteverdi was placed in the wrestleback semifinals where he decisioned No. 6 seed Cole Kreshpane of Delbarton, 3-2, to advance to the third-place medal bout later in the day. Monteverdi lost to third-seeded Bryan McLaughlin of Woodbridge,3-1, in third-place medal bout.
Monteverdi was one of five SHP wrestlers at the state tournament.
TJ Calas had a solid run at the 152-pound class, going 2-2. The senior, seeded No. 8, won in the preliminary round before losing in the pre-quarterfinals later in the night on Friday, March 3. Calas returned the next day and was placed in the wrestlebacks second round where he won. But Calas lost in the wrestlebacks third round later in the day to finish his run. Calas ended with a 35-3 record this season. In his SHP career, Calas finished with a 116-29 mark.
Charles Cunningham, a junior seeded 18th at the 126-pound class, lost in the preliminary round. The next day,Cunningham won in the wrestlebacks first round and won in the wrestlebacks second round, but lost in the wrestlebacks third round to finish with a 35-9 record. Cunningham’s SHP career record is 90-25.
Freshman Larry Melchionda (106-pound class), and junior Maguire Pecci (120) were the other SHP wrestlers in the tournament. Pecci went 1-2 to finish 34-9 this season and moved to a 91-26 in his SHP career. Despite going 0-2, Melchionda posted an outstanding freshman season with a 31-9 mark.
The state tournament capped a record-breaking season for the Pirates. Following the tournament, SHP head coach Jack Decker said, “Our seniors did a great job with Aidan finishing fourth and TJ winning a couple of matches. I am really excited for our three underclassmen because this is a great experience for them and they see what it takes to win down here in Atlantic City which Charlie and Maguire did accomplish and I know that Larry will next season. The experience our younger wrestlers gained this season should really help us next season.”
The following are the SHP results:
Friday, March 3
106: Melchionda, seeded 24th, lost to No. 9 seed Justin Bierdumpfel of Don Bosco Prep, 7-0.
120: Pecci, seeded 27th, lost to No. 6 seed Lucas Revano of Camden Catholic, 13-3.
126: Cunningham lost to No. 15 seed Ryan Manahan of Cherokee, 6-3.
152: Calas decisioned No. 25 seed Michael Roumes of Roxbury, 11-4.
170: Monteverdi decisioned No. 29 seed Mark Gross of Shawnee, 5-2.
152: Calas lost to Omar Abdelhamid of Rutherford, 4-0.
170: Monteverdi decisioned Shane Reitsma of Howell, 7-4.
Saturday, March 4
Wrestlebacks first round
106; Melchionda lost to No. 25 seed Georgio Mazzeo of Paulsboro, 10-1.
120: Pecci decisioned No. 22 seed Logan Fox of Robbinsville, 13-7.
126: Cunningham decisioned No. 31 seed Sebastian Cornejo of Morris Catholic, 7-1.
Wrestlebacks second round
120: Pecci lost to No. 12 seed Darby Diedrich of Howell, 7-4.
126: Cunningham pinned No. 16 seed Alex Poniros of Ocean Township, 1:42.
152: Calas pinned No. 26 seed John Garda of Emerson/Park Ridge, 2:48.
Wrestlebacks third round
126: Cunningham lost to No. 24 seed Dylan O’Connor of Bishop Ahr, 5-1.
152: Calas lost to No. 16 seed Kade Loughney of West Morris Central, 9-4.
170: Monteverdi decisioned No. 5 seed Vince Concina of Cranford, 6-5.
170: Monteverdi lost to No. 1 seed Dominic Mandarino of Don Bosco Prep, 7-1.
Sunday, March 5
170: Monteverdi decisioned No. 6 seed Cole Kreshpane of Delbarton, 3-2.
Third-place medal bout
170: Monteverdi lost to No. 3 seed Bryan McLaughlin of Woodbridge, 3-1.