AJ Iarussi took first place in the 195 lb weight class of the NJSIAA District 10 tournament this weekend. He defeated Nick Haboj of Madison, 3-1.
Iarussi was among a trio of Hilltopper wrestlers who placed in the top three for the district, showcasing a Summit squad that although young for a varsity program is gaining experience in earning respect throughout Union County.
Nick Testa became the runner-up at 113 lbs when he lost by a tech fall to Brenden Calas of Seton Hall Prep, 17-0. Nick Abbott, who was crowned Union County champ this year came back from a defeat earlier in the districts to claim third place at 126 lbs, with a 3-2 victory over Seton Hall Prep's Anthony Canfora.
"Nick fought back to beat a very good wrestler to get third place, and stay alive for the region next week," said his father, Jim Abbott.
Overall, Summit was the seventh best school in the district out of 10 teams, with 69 total points. Roselle Park was first with 186.5.
This week, Hilltopper wrestling's two Nicks: Testa and Abbott will each make their way through the first round of the Region tournament at Union High School on Wednesday. Iarussi, who has 33 wins and four loses this season will rest up and face his Region competition Friday and Saturday.
“I’ve got a lot of drive and hopefully my best wrestling in front of me,” Iarussi told NJ.com on Saturday. “I feel I’m on the same level with some of the best wrestlers in the state. I just have to wrestle smart,” he said in that interview.