ITHACA, N.Y. – The Castleton University wrestling team finished fifth overall in a loaded 14-team field at the season-opening Ithaca Invitational Saturday.
The Spartans collected 105.5 points as a team, while NEWA foe Johnson & Wales claimed the top spot with 147.0 points. Baldwin Wallace, Ithaca and New York University rounded out places 2-4.
Castleton had five wrestlers place in the top-six of their respective weight classes, highlighted by second-place finishes by Jason Hoffman and Mitchell LaFlam at 184 and 197, respectively. Chance LaPier placed third in the 174-pound bracket, while Max Tempel placed fifth at 149 and Reece Millington sixth at 165.
Hoffman earned his place in the 184-pound title bout after winning once via major decision and three times via fall. He dropped the championship match by 9-4 decision to earn second place for the Spartans. LaFlam needed just three wins to cement his place in the championship round of the 197-pound bracket, earning a win via fall and a pair of wins via decision before being pinned in the championship for a second-place finish.
LaPier wrestled his way through the consolation bracket, winning four times in wrestle-back competition to claim third place. Of those four wins, two were via fall, including the third-place match in which he pinned the opposition in a time of 5:08. Tempel was victorious in the fifth-place match in the 149-pound bracket, winning a 5-3 decision.
Hoffman led the way for Castleton by collected 21 points, followed by LaPier's 18.5 points on the weekend. LaFlam accounted for 16.0 points, Tempel 12.5 and Millington 11.0. Cooper Fleming earned the Spartans 7.5 points, while Frank Darwak, De'Shon Alexander and Travis Brown collected 7.0, 6.5 and 5.5 points, respectively.
Castleton returns to the mat next Saturday in split-squad action. The Spartans can be seen in action at the Gettysburg Invitational in Gettysburg, Pa., or at the Journeymen Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y., against Ithaca, TCNJ and Alfred State.