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Camacho, Jack wrestle for Wolfpack WC at inaugural RTC Cup

Danbury native Jakob Camacho battles Sean Russell of Gopher WC during Friday’s RTC Cup dual meet in Cincinnati. (Photo courtesy Sam Janicki/

Danbury native Jakob Camacho won his bout at 57 kilograms (125 pounds) in Friday’s RTC Cup to help the Wolfpack Wrestling Club battle to a 3-3 tie with Gopher Wrestling Club in Cincinnati at the Duke Energy Convention Center.  Gopher WC won the dual meet on criteria, 37-36 – most points scored in the match.

The RTC Cup features six of the top wrestling clubs in the country, including Gopher WC, which is based in Minnesota and the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club, which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolfpack Wrestling Club is based in Raleigh, N.C., home of North Carolina State wrestling program.

Danbury native Kevin Jack, a three-time All-American with the North Carolina State, made his first appearance on the mat in nearly 2½ years at 65 kg (143 pounds) and dropped two close decisions.

Camacho got the Wolfpack started off with a victory in his match against University of Minnesota alumni Sean Russell. The match was tied at 6-6 in the second period before Camacho, a redshirt sophomore, scored the six points in the final 2:10 with a pair of takedowns to secure the victory.

In the second match of the bout, Gopher WC’s Mitch McKee beat Jack, 15-6. Jack led 5-2 early in the match before McKee ended the first period with a four-point move to take the lead for good. Jack trailed by two, 8-6, with 2:02 remaining but McKee finished strong with seven straight points to secure the win.

Wolfpack WC won three of the first four bouts but Gopher WC rallied with victories in the final two bouts to force the match into criteria.

In a potential preview of April’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials, University of Minnesota junior Gable Steveson defeated Nick Gwiazdowski, 4-1, in the final match at 125 kg.

Steveson, 20, is nearly eight years younger than the Gwiazdowski, the former two-time NCAA champion from North Carolina State. In their only previous meetings, Gwiazdowski narrowly defeated Steveson twice based on criteria at the Final X Rutgers to earn the 125 kg spot for Team USA at the 2019 world championships.

The 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials are scheduled to be held April 4-5 in University Park, Pa.

In Wolfpack WC’s first match of the tournament, the squad battled to a 3-3 tie with Cliff Keen WC with three straight wins to force a decision on criteria. But Cliff Keen had a 46-45 edge in points scored to win the dual meet.

Jack wrestled at 65 kg against Cliff Keen and dropped a 7-2 decision to Alec Pantaleo.

Wolfpack WC will wrestle against Ohio RTC, which features current and former wrestlers from Ohio State, on Saturday at 2 p.m. with the winner getting a date in the semifinals against Spartan Combat out of Ithaca, N.Y., at 5 p.m. The third place bout begins at 6 p.m. with the championship match at 7 p.m.

The first-year event is being broadcast live on

2020 RTC Cup
At Cincinnati
Watch live on FloWrestling
Pool A — Cliff Keen Wrestling Club, Wolfpack WC, Gopher Wrestling Club
Pool B — Spartan Combat RTC, NJRTC/SERTC, Ohio RTC

Friday, Dec. 4
Pool A
Cliff Keen WC 5, Gopher WC 1
Cliff Keen WC 3, Wolfpack WC 3 (criteria, most technical points scored, 46-45)
Gopher WC 3, Wolfpack WC 3 (criteria, most technical points scored, 37-36)

Pool B
Spartan Combat RTC 3, Ohio RTC 3 (criteria, more tech falls, 2-1)
Spartan Combat RTC 4, NJRTC/SERTC 2

Cliff Keen WC 3, Wolfpack WC 3, criteria
More technical points, 46-45
At Cincinnati
57: Seth Gross (Cliff Keen WC) tech fall Darian Cruz, 13-2 3:00
65: Alec Pantaleo (Cliff Keen WC) dec. Kevin Jack, 7-2
74: Logan Massa (Cliff Keen WC) dec. Hayden Hidlay, 8-8
86: Trent Hidlay (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Domenic Abounader, 10-6
97: Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Timothy Dudley, 5-4
125: Nick Gwiazdowski (Wolfpack RTC) tech fall Mason Parris, 18-8 5:30

Gopher WC 3, Wolfpack WC 3, criteria
Most technical points, 37-36
At Cincinnati
57: Jakob Camacho (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Sean Russell, 12-6
65: Mitch Mckee (Gopher WC) dec. Kevin Jack, 15-6
74: Thomas Gantt (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Evan Wick, 7-2
86: Trent Hidlay (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Brett Pfarr, 6-2
97: Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC) dec. Michael Macchiavello, 8-4
125: Gable Steveson (Gopher WC) dec. Nick Gwiazdowski, 4-1

Saturday, Dec. 5
Winners of Pool A & B receive byes to the semifinals

Match 1: Gopher WC vs NJRTC/SERTC, 1 p.m.
Match 2: Wolfpack WC vs Ohio RTC, 2 p.m.
Consolation matches
Quarterfinal losers wrestle for 5th place, 4 p.m.

Spartan Combat vs winner of match 2, 5 p.m.
Cliff Keen vs winner of match 1, 6 p.m.
Third place:
 Semifinal losers, 7 p.m.
Championship match: Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.


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 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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