CASTLETON, Vt. – In a competitive contest where all 10 matches went the limit, Castleton University took the early lead and then used a late surge to hold off Southern Maine, 23-11, Saturday afternoon in a collegiate wrestling contest at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
Mitchell LaFlam started things off in the 184-pound match, earning a 17-5 major decision victory over Kolby Smith to give Castleton the early 4-0 lead. Cedrick Stephens followed with his ninth dual match victory in as many contests at 197 pounds, defeating Brandon Cousino by decision, 4-2, to extend the Spartan lead to 7-0.
At 285 pounds, Jesse Webb engaged in another close match with Southern Maine's Mike Risti, but Webb prevailed, 3-2. Frank Darwak picked up another key bonus point for Castleton at 125 pounds with a 15-4 major decision victory over Leo Amabil, increasing the Spartan advantage to 14-0.
Southern Maine (3-1) started its comeback with its top wrestler, Peter Del Gallo, moving up to 133 pounds for the first time this season and defeating Nick Camacho on a major decision (15-2). Austin Shorey also earned a major decision with at 141 pounds, and Brendan Weir continued the Husky momentum with a decision victory at 149 pounds to close the Castleton lead to 14-11.
In another tight contest, Cameron Milliken picked up Castleton's fifth victory of the day with a 5-3 decision victory at 157 pounds. Jared Costa clinched the team victory for the Spartans with a 7-3 win at 165 pounds, and Nolan Viens closed out the match with a 3-2 victory in the 174-pound contest.
Castleton (7-4) does not return to action until Saturday, Jan. 6, at the Williams College Open in Williamstown, Mass. The Spartans do not compete again at home until they host Springfield, Plymouth State, and Johnson & Wales in a quad match Saturday, Feb. 3, at Glenbrook Gym.