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Last season, Dean Peterson became the first wrestler in St. John Vianney history to win a wrestling state championship. and on the opening weekend of the 2019-2020 season he added another unprecedented accolade.

Peterson defeated Blair Academy's Ryan Miller, 8-2. on Sunday afternoon to win the 120-pound championship at the 27th Annual Beast of the East Tournament at the University of Delaware. The Lancers junior is the first Shore Conference wrestler to win a championship at the prestigious season-opening tournament since Jackson Memorial's Scott Winston and Southern Regional's Glenn Carson both placed first in 2007.

Peterson, a Princeton University recruit who captured the NJSIAA 113-pound state championship last season, was seeded second in the bracket while Miller was seeded fourth. Miller upset Bergen Catholic's Nick Kayal, 5-2 in the semifinals, to reach the championship bout. Peterson had a tough matchup with St. Joseph Montvale's Alex Almeyda in the semifinals but prevailed, 2-1 in tiebreaker, to reach the final. Almeyda was seventh in the state at 113 pounds last season.

Against Miller, Peterson led 3-0 before absorbing a headbutt from that briefly halted the bout. Peterson shook it off and added two more takedowns and an escape in the third period to complete a 6-0 weekend at a tournament regarded as one of the toughest in the nation.

Peterson was a decorated wrestler even before high school and hasn't slowed down in his first two years at St. John Vianney. He went 36-2 and finished second in the state at 106 pounds as a freshman and last season went a perfect 35-0 en route to the 113-pound state crown.

Peterson was one of four New Jersey wrestlers to place first at the Beast of the East. Blair's Cody Chittum won the 138-pound title, DePaul's Connor O'Neill won the 170-pound championship and Colonia's John Poznanski won the 182-pound crown.

 

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