Nick Suriano and Johnny Sebastian continued their impressive runs as nationally ranked wrestlers, each earning clutch wins in Bergen Catholic’s 45-21 team victory over St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) on Saturday afternoon.
Prior to cruising past the Long Island powerhouse, BC defeated Southern Regional, 40-18, in the first part of the tri-meet held in Oradell and improved to 4-1 overall this campaign.
"Today was important because we hadn't beaten Southern in other previous matches, but the guys brought it and everyone rallied together," said Sebastian, who was a state champion at 160 pounds last season. "We were able to beat two tough teams from around the tri-state."
The Crusaders -- ranked No. 42 in the country and No. 2 in MSG Varsity's New Jersey poll -- have had an impressive start to their season as they placed seventh overall at the 102-team field at the prestigious Beast of the East Tournament. It was the second highest finish of any Jersey team behind national power and tournament champion Blair Academy.
Most recently, BC captured the 16th Bergen County Team Championship in program history, doing so in dominant fashion as four wrestlers claimed individual titles, and a record seven Crusaders advanced to the finals. The Scarlet and Gold won the team title by more than 60 points, and have now claimed a county championship in 10 of the past 14 years.
"Everyone is improving every week," Sebastian said. "I'm happy to be a part of this team. We have great lightweights, but we rely on the heavyweights too. It was a little tough in our first match (a loss to No. 1 South Plainfield), but the butterflies finally settled down and we believe that we belong."
Sure enough, the string of success continues, this time at the expense of an out-of-state foe.
Suriano, despite being just a freshman, is ranked No. 1 in the nation at 106 lbs, and has already claimed his fair share of championship hardware. He became the first-ever BC wrestler to win the Beast of the East Tournament, and also won a thrilling BCCA championship.
This tri-meet was just another day at the office, as Suriano pinned John Twomey inside the one-minute mark of the third in the meet's final bout.
Meanwhile, Sebastian constructed the most important win of the afternoon, when he pinned Neal Impellizeri to claim a slim, 21-18 lead the Crusaders wouldn't relinquish.
Sebastian, a junior who also serves as a key cog on the BC football team, is ranked No. 8 in the nation at 182 lbs and once again claimed a BCCA Championship, his third straight title in as many years. The state champion also placed third at the Beast of the East, his second top three finish.
JP Ascolese, Laurien Anghelina, Joe Grello, Gianni Hallack, Christian Jenco and Carmine Goldsack all won their matches for the Crusaders, who face DePaul on Jan. 9 in their next contest.
Joe Russo, Fred Dunau, Nick Alessandrini, John Vrasidas and Charles Deegan won their matches for the Friars. St. Anthony has had a slow start to its 2012-13 dual meet season, winning only one of its first four meets. Its only victory came on Dec. 15 in the Wyoming Seminary Dual Meet in a 60-15 victory over the Pennsylvania-based school.
106: Nick Suriano (BC) p. John Twomey (STA)
120: Joe Russo (STA) d. Matt Rose (BC)
126: Fred Dunau (STA) p. Collin Hanley (BC)
132: JP Ascolese (BC) d. Nick Ronan (STA)
138: Laurien Anghelina (BC) d. Kevin Jackson (STA)
145: Nick Alessaandrini (STA) d. Dan DiLorenzi (BC)
152: Joe Grello (BC) d. Andrew Pryor (STA)
160: Gianni Hallack (BC) d. Andrew Nadjari (STA)
170: John Vrasidas (STA) p. Kevin Mulligan (BC)
182: Johnny Sebastian (BC) p. Neal Impellizeri (STA)
195: Christian Jenco (BC) p. Peter Corbett (STA)
220: Charles Deegan (STA) d. Tyler McGilligan (BC)
285: Carmine Goldsack (BC) p. Nick Fortini (STA)