A high school wrestler from Iona Preparatory made history, becoming the first ever Gael to claim a state championship.
A.J. Kovacs, a resident of Danbury and junior at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, won the Division-I 145-pound New York State wrestling title at the championship meet in Albany, becoming the first to ever win state titles in both New York and Connecticut after he claimed a championship last year before transferring to Iona Prep.
To claim the crown, Kovacs avenged his only loss in the regular season, taking on Half Hollow Hills East’s Jonathan Spadafora in the Eastern States Classic, earning a 3-2 decision with a last period takedown to take the decisive points. Spadafora managed to make it a one-point match with 18 seconds left, but ultimately lost the decision.
Kovacs finishes the season with a 50-1 record, with his one loss to Spadafora avenged. He also won the local Mamaroneck, Pearl River and Shoreline tournaments, as well as the Westchester County, CHSAA-NYC League and Sectional championships.
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