MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Castleton University wrestling program has made an immediate impact in the sport in its first year of existence, with the latest indicator coming in the form of five Spartan wrestlers being included in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) individual rankings released Friday, Dec. 16.
Two Spartans are ranked fifth in their respective weight classes, starting with senior captain Zak Hale at 141 pounds. Hale has won 13 of the 15 matches he has competed in so far this season, featuring a current 10-match winning streak that included four victories to claim the 141-pound title at the Ted Reese Invitational.
Tyreek Staton is also ranked fifth in the 125-pound class as he leads Castleton with 15 victories so far this season, including an 11-2 record in dual matches. He has consistently helped the Spartans get off to a strong start in dual competitions, including victories over Cole Nickerson of Norwich and Chris Gural of Roger Williams.
Zach Allen started his freshman season with seven consecutive victories and holds an 11-4 record to be ranked sixth in the 174-pound class. After his first 10 wins went the distance, Allen picked up his first pinfall victory of the season Dec. 10 against Niagara County CC, winning his match in just 53 seconds.
Jared Costa also won an individual title at the Ted Reese Invitational on his way to a 10-6 record and a sixth-place ranking at 165 pounds. He started the invitational with a technical fall win over Clayton Cobe of Johnson & Wales, defeated Southern Maine's Josh Smith, ranked fourth in the latest NEWA rankings, on a technical fall in the semifinals, and then won the title with a decision victory over Zac Thompson, also from host school Southern Maine.
Mitchell LaFlam enters the 184-pound rankings in sixth thanks to a 13-5 overall record that features a 5-1 mark at the Ted Reese Invitational to finish in third place. The first-year competitor boasts two victories over Kolby Smith of Southern Maine as well as wins over Lantze Lange and Andrew Werther of Oneonta State.
As a team, Castleton is ranked 10th in the latest NEWA Division III Coaches Poll. The Spartans will next compete in the Williams Open, hosted by eighth-ranked Williams College, Saturday, Jan. 7, starting at 10 a.m. at Lasell Gym.