WORCESTER, Mass. – Three members of the Castleton University wrestling team earned All-Region honors as the Spartans finished in 11th place at the 2018 NCAA Northeast Regional Wrestling Championships, hosted by WPI at the Sports and Recreation Center.
Senior Jared Costa posted the best finish among the Castleton wrestlers, starting with a first round victory over Yo Akiyama of Williams, 4-0. After a quarterfinal loss dropped him into the consolation bracket, he began his march through that section with an 8-0 major decision win over Davey Goodall of Western New England.
Sunday, Costa defeated NYU's James Murdoch on a major decision, 9-1, and then rallied in the consolation semifinals to defeat Brendan Marion of WPI, 6-5, to advance to the third-place match with a shot at qualifying for the national championships. However, he would face Nick Remke of Coast Guard, who had defeated Costa in Saturday's quarterfinals, and Remke would pick up the win, clinching a fourth-place finish for Costa in his final collegiate competition.
Two Spartans advanced to the semifinals of their respective bracket, but could not pick up another victory Sunday. At 141 pounds, Max Tempel needed just 32 seconds to pin David Sheldon of Rhode Island College, and then he earned an overtime victory over Joseph Rossetti of Williams, 7-5. However, losses in the main semifinals and consolation semifinals ended Tempel's national qualification chances, but he rebounded with a pin of Najee Hall of New England College halfway through the first period of the fifth-place match.
In the heavyweight bracket, Jesse Webb picked up two victories Saturday to reach the semifinals, first defeating Mason Sangillo of Trinity by a 9-3 decision. He then prevailed in a 3-2 decision win over NYU's Santino Pelusi in the quarterfinals, but Webb lost close matches by decision in both the main semifinals and the consolation semifinals. He would finish in fifth place after his opponent in that match forfeited.
At 197 pounds, Cedrick Stephens started with a pin of Caelin Worthington of New England College in just 10 seconds, but Stephens would lose in the quarterfinals to drop into the consolation bracket. Stephens stayed alive in the competition with a tiebreaker victory over Andrew Cole of Western New England, but he lost on Sunday to be eliminated from the bracket.
Six Castleton wrestlers saw their seasons come to an end Saturday. At 125 pounds, Ryan Cabezas lost his first match of the day to drop into the consolation bracket. He defeated Cole Nickerson of Norwich on a major decision, 11-3, before losing in the next round to be eliminated.
After losing in the 157-pound main draw, James Kilgo took a close 9-8 decision victory over Mannash Carlson of New England College to advance in the consolation bracket before his second loss of the tournament ended his run. At 174 pounds, Ibragim Arsakhanov recovered from an opening round loss to defeat Tim Caplan of Rhode Island College on a major decision, 19-6, but he was forced to default his next match due to injury.
As a team, the Spartans collected 46 points to finish in 11th place, ahead of New England College, Trinity, Norwich, Bridgewater State, Plymouth State, and Rhode Island College. Johnson & Wales easily won the team regional title with 156.5 points.
With Costa as the only graduating senior, Castleton University expects an experienced squad to help guide the Spartans to continued improvement in the 2018-19 campaign, the program's third season of varsity competition.