Hahn sisters, Jackson Memorial duo reach NJSIAA wrestling state finals
The stage is set for the NJSIAA Girls Wrestling State Championship finals.
The first day of the tournament was contested on Sunday at Phillipsburg High School with every round up to the state championship bouts being wrestled. Four Shore Conference girls advanced to the finals, led by sisters Jayla and Jade Hahn.
The state finals will be on Saturday, March 4 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, preceding the boys state championship bouts.
Jayla Hahn, a senior at Southern Regional, advanced to her third state final with a pair of wins by fall. Seeded No. 1 Hahn pinned Spotswood's Melissa Wehrle in the quarterfinals and pinned Linden's Layla Soto in the semifinals. Seeing a second state title, Hahn's opponent in the state final will be another Shore Conference standout. Jackson Memorial senior Kamila Bieszczad, seeded No. 2, reached the state final via a 2-1 semifinal victory over Jefferson's Maura White. She won by fall over High Point's Carney Wyble in the quarterfinals.
Jade Hahn, a freshman at Donovan Catholic, reached the 185-pound state final as the No. 5 seed. After winning by fall over Rancocas Valley's Paris Ford in the quarterfinals, Hahn stunned top-seeded Macenzie Hunter of Pennsauken with a pin in just 55 seconds. In the championship bout, she will square off against the No. 2 seed, St. Thomas Aquinas senior Apryl Coffman. Hahn is the first wrestler in Donovan Catholic history, male or female, to reach a state final.
At 107 pounds, Jackson Memorial freshman Marlowe Donato came from the No. 4 seed to reach the state final. She pinned Colts Neck's Alexandra Tchekounov in the quarterfinals and then took out top-seeded Emma Coesfeld of Delsea, 4-0, in the semifinals. Her opponent on the center mat at Boardwalk Hall will be Lodi's Leana Mercado, who is seeded sixth. She won by 6-0 decision over Howell freshman Kyle Gudewitz in the quarterfinals.
Gudewitz, who was the starting 113-pounder for Howell's boys team that won a Central Jersey Group 5 sectional title, wrestled back to finish third at 107 pounds. She won by fall in three consecutive wrestleback matches and then defeated Tchekounov, 5-3, in the consolation final.
Also placing third were Middletown South sophomore Caitlin O'Reilly and Brick Township senior Jade Huerta. O'Reilly was the No. 2 seed at 114 pounds but was defeated in the quarterfinals by Somerville's Emma Hoarle. She responded by winning her next four bouts in the wrestleback rounds, pinning Lyndhurst/North Arlington's Ava Krzykalski in the consolation semifinals and winning by 7-1 decision over Pennsauken's Jada Pichardo in the third-place bout. Huerta was the No. 1 seed at 165 pounds but lost by fall in the semifinals to Rancocas Valley's Savanna Marlin. She regrouped to win her next two bouts by fall, ultimately pinning Pemberton's Atiyana Williams in 3:18 to finish third. Huerta concluded her career as a two-time state top-three finisher. She was the state runner-up at 165 as a junior.
A total of 10 Shore Conference girls placed from fourth through eighth. Tcheounova (107) and Middletown South sophomore Thea Rowland (145) placed fourth, Southern's Sam Henrich (145) finished fifth, Jackson Memorial's Brianna Dugo (120) and Freehold Township's Danielle Forlenza (152) placed sixth, Lakewood's Litzy Argueta (100), Freehold Township's Rosabella Kearns (132), and Lakewood's Daniela Palacios (165) took seventh, and Freehold Township's Sophia Santorelli (120) and Jackson Memorial's Nataly Torres-Miron (185) were eighth.