N.J. Wrestler Finishes High School Career 170-0 With Four Titles

Anthony Ashnault, a senior at South Plainfield High School, became the first New Jersey wrestler to win four state titles without a single loss, ending with a 170-0 record.

Ashnault finished his high-school career yesterday with a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association championship at 138 pounds in front of a sellout crowd of 11,140 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, according to NJSIAA Executive Director Steven Timko.

Ashnault previously won state titles at 103, 112, and 126 pounds, Timko said in a telephone interview. He ranks second in New Jersey history in career victories behind Andrew Campolattano of Bound Brook High School, who went 175-1 in a career that ended in 2011, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

“This has been my goal ever since I was in eighth grade,” Ashnault said, according to the newspaper. “To actually accomplish this feels great.”

The International Olympic Committee has recommended taking wrestling off the list of core sports for the 2020 Games. The international wrestling community immediately protested, with officials from the U.S., Russia and Iran working together to lobby for the inclusion of their sport, which has been in the Olympics since ancient times. Former Olympic wrestlers have turned in their medals and one announced he would go on a hunger strike.

Ashnault has committed to wrestling next year at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was ranked the No. 21 national recruit by Amateur Wrestling News.

He joins Campolattano and Mike Grey of Delbarton as New Jersey’s only four-time state champions, Timko said.

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