Lacey senior Luke Gauthier won Outstanding Wrestler honors for his dominant run to the 145-pound title to lead the way at the NJSIAA Region 7 Tournament at RWJBarnabas Health Arena.

Gauthier, teammate Hunter Gutierrez, Toms River South senior Cole Corrigan and Donovan Catholic senior Sal DiSalvo led the way for the Shore Conference contingent by winning region titles while nine other Shore Conference wrestlers finished in the top four of their respective weight classes to qualify for the state tournament.

Gauthier won by bonus points in all three of his bouts, including a 29-second pin of Camden Catholic’s Brandon Mooney in the final. Gauthier won by technical fall over Cherokee’s Ryan Burke in the semifinals and won by fall in the quarterfinals to add a region title to the Shore Conference Tournament title he won in January.

Equally as punishing to his opponents was Gutierrez, who pinned his way to the 113-pound title to win his second region championship and reach the 100-win milestone. After pinning Donovan Catholic’s Cael Rankin in just 54 seconds in the semifinals, Gutierrez pinned Holy Cross’s Chase Mullarkey in 3:37 in the championship bout.

Gauthier and Gutierrez winning titles marks the second time in program history Lacey has had multiple region champions and the first time since John and Bryan Stout won region titles in 1990.

Corrigan won his second straight region title in his fourth region finals appearance to remain undefeated (35-0) and head to the state tournament as a championship contender. After advancing via injury default over Pemberton’s Joseph Wilson in the semifinals, Corrigan defeated Paulsboro’s George Worthy, 11-6, in the championship bout.

At 220 pounds, DiSalvo became Donovan Catholic’s first region champion since Anthony D’Anton in 2011 and the program’s third region champ overall when he pinning Keanu Williams of Paul VI in 1:53. DiSalvo advanced to the final with a 3-1 overtime victory over Lenape’s Jared Davenport and claimed career win No. 100 in the process.

Finishing second were Jackson Memorial junior Vinnie Scollo, Lacey senior Luke Moynihan and Donovan Catholic senior Cristiaan Dailey. Scollo dropped a 7-5 decision to Paulsboro’s Georgio Mazzeo in triple overtime in the 106-pound final. At 132 pounds Moynihan lost by 22-10 major decision to Camden Catholic’s Lucas Revano, who won his third title in as many seasons. Dailey defeated Toms River North’s Nick Boggiano, 4-3, in the semifinals but was edged by Camden Catholic’s Anthony Croce, 4-3, in the championship bout.

Wrestling back for third were Boggiano, Toms River East freshman Michael Conklin (120) and Donovan Catholic senior Conor Panzarella (160). After losing to Dailey in the semifinals, Boggiano clipped Jackson’s Carsten Digiantomasso, 4-3, in the blood round and won by medical forfeit over Toms River South’s Riley Cheong to take third. Conklin lost to Camden Catholic’s Cody Walsh, 9-7, in the semifinals but came back with a 7-1 win over Cherokee’s Cooper Pontelandolfo to clinch a state tournament berth and followed with a 9-4 decision over Rancocas Valley’s Gabriel Dollard to finish third. Panzarella suffered a 6-4 loss to Rancocas Valley’s Daequan Jackson-Swoope in the semifinals but rebounded with authority by pinning Eastern’s Tanner Eldridge in the blood round and pinning Paul VI’s John Donegan to take third.

Rankin, Cheong and Toms River North senior Juan Nakano (170) all placed fourth to also reach the state tournament.

Donovan Catholic’s three state-qualifiers is a program-best. Conklin is the first Toms River East freshman to reach the state tournament since Vinnie DelleFave in 2006.


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.


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