LCM trio finishes at states

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LCM's Cory Damiana finished his career with 123 victories The three Lower Cape May Regional wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament fell short of the ultimate goal of reaching the podium in their weight classes. But two of the three also experienced a bit of success before their seasons ended in wrestlebacks.

Senior Cory Damiana, one of the most accomplished high school wrestlers in Cape May County history, went 2-2 at 195 pounds in the last of his three career trips to the state tournament.

Damiana opened his effort with a 12-6 decision over Aaron Saavedra of Bound Brook in a preliminary-round match on Friday. He then suffered a loss by fall in 2:17 to Mike Oxley of Christian Brothers Academy in the pre-quarterfinal round, sending him into Saturday’s wrestlebacks.

Damiana picked up a win by pin in 3:07 over Garrett Armstrong of Kittatinny in his first wrestleback bout before being eliminated from the tournament following a 6-4 loss to Dominic Carfagno of St. Joseph, Montvale, in a second-round wrestleback.

Damiana, a three-time district champion and the only wrestler in Lower Cape May history to reach district finals four times, finished his career at 123-24 after going 38-3 as a senior. His career win total is second in program history to his older brother, Billy, a 2009 graduate who won 139 times.

Damiana is set to wrestle at Division I Hofstra University next year.

Senior heavyweight Doug Flitcroft had his fine season ended after two close matches at the state tournament, both of which were decided by a single point. He lost a 1-0 decision to Marek Tomanek of Delaware Valley in the preliminary round on Friday before dropping a 3-2 decision to Pat Toal of Rariton in the first round of wrestlebacks.

Flitcroft, a finalist at the Region 8 Tournament, finished his season at 32-9.

Junior Eric Pruszinski got off to a good start at states by winning a 113-pound preliminary by fall in 2:59 over Audubon’s Bill Henry. But he then suffered a 15-0 technical fall defeat to Nick Suriano of Bergen Catholic in a pre-quarterfinal before bowing out of the tournament with a 12-2 major-decision loss to Dean Caravela of Caldwell in a wrestleback match.

Pruszinski completed his season at 33-10. He’ll enter his final high school season as a two-time state qualifier carrying a career record of 70-34.

Damiana, Flitcroft and Pruszinski may have each longed to extend their seasons just a bit longer. But the fact remains that all three enjoyed more success than more than 95 percent of high school wrestlers throughout the state.


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