North Bergen’s Amanda Pace brought home the first girls wrestling state championship in Bruins history last month,
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Pace was crowned the state’s top 180-pound wrestler on April 10th after she pinned her opponent in the third period of the final match for the NJSIAA’s State Championships held at Phillipsburg High School.
She is the first student-athlete in school and county history to win a girl’s state championship and the school’s first state champion since 2014.
“I have worked very hard for years even before high school. All I had ever wanted was a high school state title. Two years in a row I had fallen short. I was heartbroken, yet now I feel nothing but love and accomplishment for all the work I’ve put in,” Pace said in a statement.
“Wrestling has and will continue to teach me more and more everyday about what the word tough means. My family has been there for me through it all, my parents, sister, grandparents and the long list of relatives far and wide. Them along with my coaches support me in unimaginable ways, and it’s because of them that I have come so far. I am a North Bergen Wrestling State Champion. And proud to be one.”
The High Tech High School junior capped off an unusual season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed the wrestling season to run from February to April instead of its usual November to March schedule, in spectacular fashion.
“Once we realized there would be a season, we were excited with the chance to wrestle for a title. Although Amanda moved up to a different weight class, we weren’t too concerned,” noted North Bergen Wrestling Coach Jerry Maietta.
“She has put in the work during the offseason to accomplish her goal; a state championship. Finishing second the previous two years only fueled her to put in the time so she could stand on top of the podium.”
State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco also congratulated pace on her “historic accomplishment,” expressing that she has continued the townships tradition of building good, tough wrestlers.