BRICK — Brick Memorial wrestling just added another threat to their lower weights following the transfer of Brick Township’s top wrestler, Evan Tallmadge .
The rising junior has the perfect résumé to be a Mustang, including a 2019 Fargo Freestyle Cadet National Championship, finished his sophomore campaign 39-3, fourth at the 2019 NJSIAA Wrestling Championships, was Brick’s first Regional Champion since 2017, topping the podium in Region 6, and became Brick’s first two-time District Champion since 2015, winning District 24.
He also placed second in the Shore Conference Tournament behind his new teammate and life-long friend, Anthony Santaniello. The two also went head-to-head in the state semifinals, Anthony Santaniello coming out on top, 5-1, eventually placing second at 106.
“Anytime you can add a kid like Evan, it’s an unbelievable asset. Not only because he’s a great kid from a great family, but also because the moves are endless now in our lower weights,” Brick Memorial head coach Mike Kiley said.
“We’re not only getting a great wrestler, we’re getting a great family to add to our Brick Memorial family.”
Tallmadge joins a studded lower-weight lineup featuring two, second-place state finishers in Anthony Santaniello  and Vincent Santaniello . The brothers also won Region 7 and District 27 in their respective weight classes.
Adding Tallmadge, provides a new high school partner for the brothers, as all three train together in the offseason.
Back on the same side, Tallmadge is excited to rejoin his Shore Thing teammates.
“It’s not going to be that different, because Me, Vin and Anthony are always together anyway,” Tallmadge said. “We’ve only known being on the same team, except for the years in high school. We’ve been on the same team our whole lives.”
Tallmadge does admit there is some pressure with the move, knowing the recent success his new team has found — clinching the program’s 16th sectional title last season with the Central Jersey Group IV win over Jackson Memorial, finishing fourth in the state as a team and ending the state tournament with three second-place finishes and a fourth-place finish.
“There’s definitely going to be a little bit more pressure because placing at states is normal for them,” Tallmadge said. “I feel like it will make me a lot better and hopefully make me a state champ.”
Tallmadge plans to move up a weight class, or two, while the Mustangs also return Michael Cate and Braden Scott to their lower weights, along with 195 second-place state and Region 7 finisher and District 27 champion, David Szuba.
The Mustangs also have multiple wrestlers ranking in the Top 20, or better, in New Jersey and the country, while the team also lands at the top of multiple state-ranking lists.
“Having the kids we have, it’s going to elevate everybody. When you’re around kids who are winning it makes you think and start to be aware of your potential. When you have kids that are ranked and you’re seeing Brick Memorial ranked high in the state and even in the country, in multiple weight classes, I think people know we’re here and on the map,” Kiley said.
“They’re going to be gunning for us, that’s for sure, but it’s good pressure. You want to be hunted. We’ve gotten here, so now let’s stay here.”
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