PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The newcomers for the Castleton University wrestling program led the way during the first weekend of the 2017-18 season, as four wrestlers competing for the first time as Spartans were among six Castleton representatives in the top six of the various weight classes, leading Castleton to a fifth place finish at the Ithaca Invitational, held at the Providence Career and Technical Center.
Jesse Webb led the way for Castleton, as the junior transfer won the heavyweight bracket with five victories in two days. After decision wins over Christopher Martinez of Otterbein and Colin Myles of Stevens Tech, Webb pinned Andrew Tanner of SUNY Oswego and earned a major decision win over Michael Larm of Johnson & Wales to reach the final, where he defeated Joe Fusco of Springfield, 12-7.
Another transfer, Troy Gassaway, worked his way through the 125-pound bracket, starting with pinfall victories over Dylan Cook of Greensboro and Devin Marino of Springfield. He defeated Hunter Howland of SUNY Oswego and Ferdinand Made of Ithaca on decisions before falling to Yoseph Borai of Stevens Tech in the finals, 4-0, to settle for second place.
Max Tempel advanced to the semifinals of the 149-pound bracket with four wins, including decision victories over Zarek Thomas of RIT, Mike Vietri of Springfield, and Chris Wymer of Ithaca in the main bracket. Tempel defeated Dylan Van Sickell of Stevens Tech in the wrestleback bracket to reach the third place match, losing to Demetri D'Orsaneo of Ithaca to finish in fourth place.
At 141 pounds, Ben Billings advanced to the quarterfinals of the main draw before losing a close match by decision. He picked up a pinfall victory over Evan Corso of SUNY Oswego in extra time before falling into the fifth place match, where he defeated Michael Derin of Stevens Tech on a pinfall 1:14 into the contest.
Nick Camacho also finished in fifth place in the 133-pound bracket, starting with two victories in the main draw. Camacho picked up two more victories in the wrestleback bracket before losing to fall into the fifth place match, which he won by forfeit. Mitchell LaFlam rallied in the wrestleback portion of the 184-pound bracket with four consolation victories, eventually finishing in sixth place.
As a team, Castleton collected 95.5 points over the two-day tournament, finishing in fifth place among the 16-team field. Stevens Tech won the team title with 142 points, just ahead of Johnson & Wales with 138 points and Ithaca with 129 points.
Castleton heads to New York next weekend, first taking on Ithaca, LIU Post, and Sacred Heart in the Journeymen Northeast Duals in Clifton Park, N.Y., next Saturday, Nov. 11. The Spartans then head to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y., for the Journeymen Collegiate Classic next Sunday, Nov. 12.