The Guttenberg resident and High Tech High School senior, who wrestles for North Bergen, won the NJSIAA 132-pound state championship at Boardwalk Hall, defeating Mike Magaldo of Watchung Hills, 3-1, in the title bout.
In the process, Giraldo became the first wrestler from Hudson County to ever successfully defend a state championship and the first-ever to capture two NJSIAA state crowns. Giraldo was the 126-pound state champion a year ago.
Giraldo used a three-point move -- a one-point escape and a two-point takedown -- in the second period to defeat Magaldo, a long-time rival. Giraldo’s win enabled him to finish the season with a perfect 41-0 record.
Giraldo had defeated Magaldo earlier this season by a similar 3-1 score on Jan. 18 in a dual meet. The two wrestlers have gone head-to-head several times, dating back to grade school.
Giraldo is one of only five Hudson County wrestlers to ever win a state title. John Bott, a teacher at North Bergen High, is another. But Giraldo becomes the first to win two state crowns. – Jim Hague