Leonia's August Hibler Runs Throguh Bracket to Place Third at NJ State Championships

August Hibler's journey at the New Jersey State Wrestling Championships was an impressive feat. Competing at 144 lbs., the senior from Leonia, formerly of Bergen Catholic, showcased his wrestling acumen all the way to an impressive third-place finish.

Hibler, with the heart of a lion, began his campaign with a stunning victory over Abe Zaretsky, pinning his opponent in a mere 2 minutes and 37 seconds. The momentum carried him into the pre-quarterfinal round, where he showcased a masterclass in technique, overpowering Joseph Ortega by a major decision of 12-4.

The quarterfinals presented a tougher challenge in the form of Jack Myers. Hibler, ever the strategist, eked out a nail-biting 6-5 win, edging him ever closer to the medal rounds. But the semifinals were unforgiving, and in a hard-fought match against Sonny Amato, Hibler faced a minor setback, losing by a slim margin of 2-1.

Undeterred by the loss and driven by the resolve that only seniors possess, Hibler regrouped in the consolation rounds. His match against Donovan DiStefano was a swift display of his capabilities, securing a pin at 1:43 and proving his resilience.

The stage was set for the match that would determine the third-place victor. Facing Wyatt Stout, Hibler entered the first period with caution, both wrestlers sizing each other up, but neither committing fully to the attack. The second period saw a shift as Stout escaped from the bottom, only for Hibler to execute a swift takedown, starting his tally for the match. He didn't stop there; with a series of movement on top, he extended his lead with back points.

The final period was a display of Hibler's seasoned skill. Despite Stout's best efforts, including a double underhook takedown, the deficit was too great. Hibler's early groundwork had paved the way to victory, and as the match concluded with a score of 7-4, August Hibler could proudly stand as the third-best 144 lb wrestler in New Jersey.