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Danbury’s Camacho wins National Collegiate Open tournament

North Carolina State freshman Jakob Camacho

SMYRNA, Delaware, March 2 – Danbury’s Jakob Camacho is a redshirt freshman with the North Carolina State University wrestling team. He works out with the team but hasn’t seen much action on the mat.

Camacho wrestled in his first tournament since late January by winning the 11th annual National Collegiate Open wrestling championship at 125 pounds on Saturday at Smyrna High School. The tournament is open to wrestlers who won’t be wrestling at their conference championships – primarily red-shirt wrestlers and non-starters.

Camacho (26-3) went 5-0 in the tournament to win the title. He beat Joey Melendez of North Carolina, 9-4 in the championship match. Camacho had three takedowns in the third period to solidify the victory.

In the semifinals, Camacho beat Wolfpack teammate Zurich Storm with a 6-4 decision with two takedowns in the pivotal third period. Storm has a record of 13-5 in varsity matches this season for the Wolfpack with one pin but senior Sean Fausz is the starting wrestler at 125 for the Wolfpack.

Camacho advanced to the semifinals with an 8-5 double overtime win over Cody Phippen of Air Force. Camacho tied the bout at 4-4 with an escape with 1:03 left in regulation.

In the second OT session, Camacho took a 6-4 lead with a reversal with 16 seconds left in the first 30-second portion of overtime. In the second 30-second portion, Phippen escaped to cut the lead to one but Camacho clinched the match with a takedown.

It’s the first action for Camacho since participating the Appalachian State Open in late January. Before that, Camacho was third with a 6-1 record at the Southern Scuffle around the New Year’s holiday.

Camacho competed in three tournaments in November winning the Hokie Open (Virginia Tech) at 125 pounds and taking third in the Bearcat Open at Binghamton.

North Carolina State went 16-3 and 4-1 in the ACC this season and finished ranked No. 10 in the final NWCA Coaches poll of the season. North Carolina State will be participating in the ACC championship meet Saturday at Virginia Tech.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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