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ATLANTIC CITY – The Shore Conference had four state champions crowned at the 2020 NJSIAA Wrestling Championships at Boardwalk Hall.

St. John Vianney junior Dean Peterson became a two-time state champion, Middletown North senior Tyler Klinsky capped a historic career with the Lions’ first state title in 46 years and Toms River North senior Nick Boggiano won his first state title to lead a Shore Conference contingent that accounted for a record 31 state medals.

In the girls state tournament, Manalapan junior Jessi Johnson won her second straight state title and finished the season undefeated by defeating West Orange’s Precious Opara, 7-2, in the 151-pound championship match.

Peterson was brilliant in winning his second state title and running his winning streak to 73 matches by defeating Brick Memorial’s Vincent Santaniello, 1-0, in the 120-pound championship match. Peterson did not allow a single point the entire tournament. He is 109-2 for his career.

Klinsky put the finishing touches on a sensational career by winning the 113-pound state title with a 6-3 victory over Don Bosco Prep’s Kelly Dunnigan. He is Middletown North’s second state champion in program history and first since Ken Hopfsensperger in 1974. Klinsky finished his career as a four-time district champion, a four-time region champion, a two-time state finalist, a state champion and as the Shore Conference’s all-time wins leader with 169.

Boggiano claimed the 152-pound state title with a 7-3 victory over Paramus’s Aaron Ayzerov to become Toms River North’s fourth state champion and first since Matt Oliver in 2007. Boggiano locked up a cradle in the second period to build a 7-0 lead and held on to conclude a career that saw him post 149 wins.

Six Shore Conference wrestlers also finished second, including Vincent Santaniello vs. Peterson at 120.

Brick Memorial’s Anthony Santaniello lost to Kinnelon’s Evan Mougalian, 3-1, on a last-second takedown in the 106-pound state final. Howell’s Shane Reitsma finished second for the second year in a row in a 3-1 defeat to DePaul’s Connor O’Neill in the 170-pound final. At 182 pounds, Colts Neck’s Luke Rada lost by fall to Colonia star senior John Poznanski, who was selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Brick Memorial junior David Szuba lost a controversial 195-pound state final to Camden Catholic sophomore Martin Cosgrove, 9-7, thanks to a stalling call with three seconds left. Szuba had tied the bout 7-7 with a four-point move that put Cosgrove to his back. Szuba held onto Cosgrove’s leg off the ensuing restart and was hit with his second stalling call. Szuba, however, was not made aware he had already been called for stalling, according to Brick Memorial head coach Mike Kiley. The second stalling call gave one point to Cosgrove to give him an 8-7 lead. He cut Cosgrove free to try for the tying takedown but could not convert in the short time span.

At heavyweight, Southern Regional senior JT Cornelius was defeated by St. Joseph-Montvale freshman Jim Mullen, 7-3.


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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