Pastore won his second straight section title Feb. 11 by pinning Edgemont’s Jack McCormack in 72 seconds in the Section 1 Small School Qualifier for the New York State Wrestling Championships. He went on to finish sixth at the state tournament.
Irvington head coach Steven Aufiero said Pastore’s presence was so overwhelming that other wrestlers intentionally got out of his weight class to avoid him. Pastore chuckled at that notion but made it clear that he would have been willing to face anyone.
“I’m not looking to take the easy road,” Pastore said. “But it’s fine if someone doesn’t want to be in my weight class.”
Aufiero said the senior earned the respect of the local wrestling community through his five years of hard work at the varsity level.
“Personally, coaching (at Irvington) for four years, he’s the type of wrestler that comes around once in a generation,” Aufiero said. “All his work in the last four years paid off with a sixth place finish and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Pastore shattered Irvington’s previous career wins record of 125 with more than 140 wins. He posted more than 30 wins this year and became the leader of the program.
The senior rolled through the section tournament, but the state tournament was a different story.
“I lost my first match, so essentially every match of the tournament was if I lose, my high school career is over,” Pastore said. “So every match was do or die.”
After the first loss, Pastore waited an agonizing six hours to wrestle again and won his final two matches on the first day of the two-day tournament, which Aufiero said was one of Pastore’s greatest accomplishments. The senior then won his third match on day two to earn the sixth place finish.
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