By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Two Lower Cape May Regional High School wrestlers have advanced to the state championships.
Senior Shane Whitney and junior Marcus Hebron each made a solid run through the Regions 7-8 Tournament, held at Cherry Hill East High School over the weekend, to qualify for the final tournament of the season.
The state championships will be held this coming weekend at Phillipsburg High School.
Whitney (11-1), a transfer who was a state finalist in Virginia last season, placed second at 220 pounds at Regions 7-8. Seeded third in the bracket, Whitney lost an 11-2 major decision to top-seeded Mike Misita of Williamstown in the championship bout.
Whitney reached the final after pinning No. 2 seed Mikal Taylor of Absegami in the semifinal round.
Whitney opened the tournament with a 15-0 technical fall in 5:54 over No. 14 Mike Griffith of West Deptford in the Round of 16. He then decked No. 11 Liam Spahn of Deptford in 1:55 in the quarterfinal round.
Hebron, the third seed at 195 pounds, placed third through a 5-4 win over No. 4 Vincent Ceglie of Lacey Township in the third-place bout.
Hebron (11-3) officially qualified for states — the top four in each weight class advanced — by defeating No. 5 Nicholas Sura of Central Regional, 5-4, in the wrestleback semifinal round to advance to the third-place bout.
Hebron was knocked from the winners’ bracket after a loss by fall in :45 to No. 2 Cody Thurston of West Deptford.
Middle Township junior Dave Giulian also enjoyed a solid tournament and placed fifth at 182 pounds. Giulian (10-5), seeded fifth, won his opening match in the Round of 16 before losing in the quarterfinal round. He then won his quarterfinal wrestleback bout before falling in the wrestleback semifinal round. He then beat No. 4 Dennis Virelli of St. Augustine in the fifth-place bout.