EAST HANOVER, N.J. -- Two weeks before the Super 32 Challenge, Sunday's Iron Horse Invitational provided an excellent chance for many of the top wrestlers in New Jersey -- and some from the surrounding areas -- to tune up against high-level competition. The format of the event featured 28 different four or five-person groups of wrestlers competing in round-robin pools against one another.
Jesse WebbThere were no weight classes, as the groups were pre-arranged to maximize the competition, and group wrestlers of similar ability together. After the day of competition in Hanover Park, N.J., the field could say they got in a very good day of work.
Among the day's shining stars was a pair of wrestlers who won Super 32 Challenge titles in the high school division last year, Nick Suriano (Bergen Catholic, N.J.) and Jesse Webb (Mt. Anthony Union, Vt.).
Suriano went an undefeated 3-0 with an opening round 9-1 win over state champion Kyle Quinn (Wantagh, N.Y.), a 5-0 win over freshman Nick Santos (St. Peter's Prep), and a 5-3 win over another state champion in Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.). Suriano, who was an undefeated state champion during his freshman year, is ranked No. 5 overall in the Class of 2016; while Diakomihalis is the No. 4 ranked overall Class of 2017 wrestler.
Webb, a New England regional champion bound for Ohio University next fall, won all four of his matches on Sunday. His day opened with a 7-1 win over state qualifier Adrian Oceguera (Union City, N.J.), and then followed with a 3-2 win over state placer Andrew Dunn (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.). After a forfeit win against state placer Jose Palomino (St. Peter's Prep, N.J.), Webb's day closed with a 3-1 overtime win over state qualifier Andrew Pacheco (Warren Hills, N.J.)
Joining Suriano as grade-level ranked wrestlers to win titles at the Iron Horse Invitational were Gage Curry (North Hills, Pa.), Vitali Arujau (Syosset, N.Y.), Nick Piccinnini (Ward Mellville, N.Y.), Zeke Moisey (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.), Mike Magaldo (Watchung Hills, N.J.), David McFadden (DePaul Catholic, N.J.), and Christian Dietrich (Greene, N.Y.)
Curry, ranked No. 38 in the Class of 2016, went 4-0 on Sunday. The sophomore, who was fourth at state and third in the FloNationals, picked up a 6-0 win over state runner-up Matteo DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) in his opening match. Curry then had a bye and a 7-3 win before beating state placer Ty Agaisse (Delbarton, N.J.) 3-0 and earning a 7-0 win over nationally ranked eighth grader Andrew Merola (New Jersey) 7-0.
Arujau, ranked No. 11 in the Class of 2017 and a high school state runner-up last year in eighth grade, went 3-0 with a 5-3 overtime win against state qualifier Owen McClave (Toms River South, N.J.), a 4-0 win over state placer Jesse Dellavacchia (East Islip, N.Y.), and a 4-1 win over state placer Dean Ceravela (Caldwell, N.J.)
Two-time state champion Piccinnini, a FloNationals runner-up, is ranked No. 30 overall in the Class of 2015. He went 4-0 on Sunday, starting with a 3-0 win over state placer Bryan Damon (Jefferson, N.J.). He followed that with a 15-0 technical fall victory over state qualifier William Kui (DePaul Catholic, N.J.). The domination continued with an 8-1 win over state placer A.J. Vindici (Randolph, N.J.), and concluded with a 3-0 win over 2012 state champion Anthony Cefolo (Hanover Park, N.J.)
Two-time state runner-up Moisey, a 2012 FloNationals champion, is ranked No. 67 overall in the Class of 2014. He went 4-0 on Sunday, starting with a 49 second pin over state qualifier Sam Cali (Don Bosco Prep, N.J.). Moisey's next match was an 8-3 victory over FloNationals placer Travis Passaro (Eastport South Manor, N.Y.), and was followed up by a 6-3 win over a New Jersey opponent. His final match was a 2-1 victory over Jared Prince (Palm Harbor University, Fla.), a 2012 Super 32 placer, who is ranked No. 29 in the Class of 2015.
Three-time state placer Magaldo is ranked No. 62 in the Class of 2014, and was a 2012 state champion. He went 4-0 on Sunday, and the day started with a pair of easy wins, a third period pin over Max Nauta (Warren Hills, N.J.) and a 12-2 major decision Sam Morina (Paulsboro, N.J.). Competition would toughen up, as Magaldo upended two-time state placer Chase Zemenak (Nazareth, Pa.) 6-2 in the day's third round. Then, after a fourth round bye, Magaldo's last match was a very tightly contested 3-2 victory over two-time state placer Connor Prince (Palm Harbor University, Fla.)
Two-time state placer, and 2012 state runner-up, McFadden is ranked No. 24 in the Class of 2015. He went 4-0 on Sunday afternoon; however, it was against four wrestlers who did not place in a state tournament last season. Only Collin Boylan (Hunterdon Central, N.J.) even qualified for state. It was Boylan who gave McFadden his toughest match of the day, losing 2-0; however, Boylan lost two other matches to finish fourth of the five wrestlers in the round-robin.
Finally among the grade-level ranked wrestlers is Dietrich, runner-up at 170 pounds as a freshman and fourth at the FloNationals. Ranked No. 12 in the Class of 2016, Dietrich went 4-0 on Sunday. The day started with an 8-5 win over state qualifier Nick DePalma (DePaul Catholic, N.J.), and continued with a 3-1 win over New England regional third place finisher Johnny Garcia (Danbury, Ct.). Next was his toughest match of the day, an 8-6 overtime victory over state placer Nicholas Costa (Brick Memorial, N.J.), and the day concluded with a 5-1 victory over state placer Daniel Smith (South Jefferson, N.Y.)
Other past state placers to go undefeated in the Iron Horse Invitational were Steven Simpson (St. Mary's Ryken, Md.), Pete Lipari (Bergen Catholic, N.J.), Jason Gaccione (High Point, N.J.), Thomas Dutton (Rocky Point, N.Y.), and Steven Schneider (MacArthur, N.Y.)