Six members of the Verona High School wrestling team will be advancing to Regions after their finishes in the NJSIAA District 10 championship on Saturday. Nick Riggio became the District champion at 170 pounds, and VHS had five third place finishes.
In his opening match, Riggio swiftly pinned Randolph’s Justin Moreno. He then took a little under three minutes to pin long-time rival Blake McGowan of Columbia High School for the title.
Mike Garcia, Dean Palmer, Frank Riggio, Cade Byrne and Ryan Stanisci all claimed third place in their weight classes.
Garcia, wrestling at 106, fell to Joseph DiFrancescantonio of Hanover Park in the semifinals, but pinned Eddie Ortiz of Lyndhurst in 3:57 to take third. Palmer (126) came up at the short end of a 7-4 decision with Randolph’s Charlie Treston in his semi, but reversed his fortunes with an 11-1 decision over Brandon Costello of Belleville.
Frank Riggio, who had been seeded No. 2 at 152, grappled with Janny Lopez Valle of Randolph in his semifinal for nearly six minutes before being pinned. But in his third place match, he claimed a technical fall over Glenn Torkos of Hanover Park. Byrne, the No. 3 seed at 220, was pinned by Anthony Salvemini of Hanover Park in the opener but battled Eddie Galicia of Randolph for more than five minutes before finally pinning him. Stanisci came into the District 10 championship as the No. 4 seed at 285. He fell to Ryan Knox of Randolph in the semifinal, but scored a 2-0 decision over Mason Lazorchak of Hanover Park for third place.
Derek Bernardino, John Pavia, Ryan Huze, Tyler DaCosta, Jayden Czupak and Sam Zamloot also competed for Verona, but did not advance.
The Regions championship will be held this Friday, February 22, at West Orange High School.
Photos copyright Pam Garcia. Used by permission.