WEST ORANGE – Seton Hall Prep’s T.J. Calas won the 160-pound weight class and SHP teammate Aidan Monteverdi finished second in the 152-pound class at the Region 3 Wrestling Tournament at Union High School, Feb. 24, 26-27.
Calas and Monteverdi qualified for the state tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, March 4-6. The top three finishers in each weight class qualified for the state tournament.
Calas, a junior, pinned Westfield’s Jarek Gozdieski in 1:03 in the 160-pound championship bout to improve to a stellar 32-3 record this season.
Monteverdi, also a junior, lost to South Plainfield’s Daniel Hedden, 7-4, in the 152-pound championship bout to move to a 32-4 record this season.
When asked about his performance in the Region and qualifying for Atlantic City, Monteverdi said, “I wrestled real tough but I could have done better. You are wrestling against the best in the region so you have to be at your best every match. I am very excited to go to Atlantic City but I have more to accomplish which is reaching the podium (top 8 finishers).”
After winning the region title, Calas said, “I am very excited and relieved that I qualified for Atlantic City.”
Calas is the younger brother of Brenden Calas, who was a two-time state champion as well as a state runner-up for SHP. Brenden won the 103-pound state title as a sophomore in 2011 and won the 113-pound state crown in 2012. In 2013 during an injury-marred senior season, Brenden finished second in the state tournament in the 120-pound class.
Brenden attended the region to support his brother.
“It was a real confidence booster to have my brother Brenden rooting me on,” said T.J. “To win the title in front of him made it even more special.”
Maguire Pecci, a sophomore, finished in fourth place in the 113-pound class for the SHP Pirates as he just missed qualifying for the state tournament. Pecci lost to South Plainfield’s Jake Giordano, 4-3, in the third-place consolation.
Jake Smith, Danny Young, Charles Cunningham and Jonathan Alvarado also represented SHP at the Region Tournament, which consisted of the top three finishers in each weight class from the district tournaments.
Smith, a junior, lost in the preliminary round in the 132-pound class to finish with a 25-10 record.
Young, a sophomore in the 145-pound class, won in the preliminary round, but lost in the quarterfinals. After winning in the wrestlebacks quarterfinals, Young lost in the wrestlebacks semifinals to finish with a 21-15 record.
Cunningham, a sophomore in the 126-pound class, received a bye in the preliminary round. He lost in the quarterfinals before winning in the wrestlebacks quarterfinals. Cunningham lost in the wrestlebacks semifinals to end with a strong 29-5 record.
Alvarado, a freshman in the 220-pound class, received a bye in the preliminary round, but lost in the quarterfinals and then lost in the wrestleback quarterfinals to finish with a 23-10 record.
REGION 3 TOURNAMENT
113: Maguire Pecci, SHP, major decisioned Ed Williams, Watchung Hills, 12-0
132: Vincent Simonetti, Union, decisioned Jake Smith, SHP, 3-1, overtime.
145: Danny Young, SHP, decisioned Charlie Buckley, Brearley/Dayton, 4-2.
113: Anthony Capece, Cranford, decisioned Maguire Pecci, SHP, 11-8.
126: Christopher Fuschetto, Johnson Regional, decisioned Charles Cunningham, SHP, 4-2.
145: Tyler Gazaway, New Providence, pinned Danny Young, SHP, 2:21.
152: Aidan Monteverdi, SHP, pinned Victor Azeredo, Union, 3:06.
160: T.J. Calas, SHP, decisioned Abu Bakar Mendheim, Plainfield, 4-2.
220: Phil Ricca, Westfield, decisioned Jonathan Alvarado,SHP, 8-5.
113: Maguire Pecci, SHP, decisioned Mark Montgomery, Roselle Park, 5-2.
126: Charles Cunningham, SHP, pinned Javier Arrendondo, Linden, 1:33;
145: Danny Young, SHP, decisioned Palmer Ferrara, Watchung Hills, 5-0;
220: Santiago Arango, Madison, pinned Jonathan Alvarado, SHP, 5:25;
152: Aidan Monteverdi, SHP, Chase Champi, Morristown, 3-0.
160: T.J. Calas, SHP, pinned Luke Anselmi, Delbarton, 3:25.
113: Maguire Pecci, SHP, decisioned Chris Hoerle, Westfield, 2-1.
126: Lou Raimo, Hanover Park, decisioned Charles Cunningham, SHP, 5-2;
145: AJ Lonski, Delbarton, pinned Danny Young, SHP, 4:25;
113: Jake Giordano, South Plainfield, decisioned Maguire Pecci, SHP, 4-3.
152: Daniel Hedden, South Plainfield, decisioned Aidan Monteverdi, SHP, 7-4.
160: Calas pinned Jarek Gozdieski, Westfield, 1:03.