CASTLETON, Vt. – After a month of competition on the road, the Castleton University wrestling team will set up the mat in Glenbrook Gym for its first home contest of the 2017-18 season, as the Spartans host the New England College Pilgrims Wednesday, Dec. 6, starting at 7 p.m.
After two weeks off, Castleton returned to action this past Saturday at the Ted Reese Invitational in Gorham, Maine, finishing third among the 16 teams represented at the tournament. The Spartans collected 138 total points, behind only tournament champion Coast Guard and host school Southern Maine.
Jesse Webb won the heavyweight bracket with five straight victories to improve his overall season record to 13-3. Webb was ranked second at 285 pounds in the NEWA individual rankings before Thanksgiving and defeated Mike Risti of Southern Maine, ranked fifth in the regional rankings, in extra time to clinch the tournament title.
Cedrick Stephens, like Webb a newcomer to the Spartan program, finished second in the 197-pound bracket, while Nick Camacho won three matches in the 133-pound bracket to advance to the final before finishing in second place. Three other Castleton wrestlers finished third in their respective brackets: Max Tempel at 149 pounds, Cameron Milliken at 157 pounds, and Jared Costa at 165 pounds.
New England College also competed in the Ted Reese Invitational Saturday, finishing in 13th place with 22.5 points. In dual matches, the Pilgrims are 0-2 so far this year, losing at Bridgewater State on a tiebreaker on Nov. 1, 20-19, and a 33-17 contest to Plymouth State on Nov. 11.
Malik Settles led the Pilgrims Saturday with a third place finish in the 174-pound bracket, including an 8-3 decision victory over Castleton's Nolan Viens in the round of 16 and a 5-2 decision win over Viens in the consolation semifinals. Settles has also led off both NEC dual matches with major decision victories, while Diego Santiago at 125 pounds has also been victorious twice in duals, once by technical fall and the other time by major decision.
This will be the first dual match meeting between Castleton and New England College, both second-year varsity programs. There will be no exhibition contests around the 10-match meet scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
After Wednesday's match, Castleton heads to Oneonta, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 9, to compete in the Northeast Duals for the second consecutive year. The Spartans will face the host Red Dragons at 12 noon, followed by contests against SUNY Cortland, ranked 16th nationally by the NWCA, at 2 p.m. and Niagara County Community College at 4 p.m.