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Wolfpack WC finishes fourth at RTC Cup

Danbury native Jakob Camacho, right, controls Seth Russell of Gopher RTC in Friday’s match at the RTC Cup in Cincinnati. (Photo courtesy Sam Janicki/

The Wolfpack Wrestling Club wrestled five times in the 2020 RTC Cup in Cincinnati this weekend and lost four times – three times on criteria. Still, the club wrestled tough and finished fourth in the first-ever tournament sponsored by Titan Mercury Wrestling Clun and

Twice, Wolfpack WC battled eventual tournament champion Cliff Keen WC out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, to a 3-3 tie in the six-man dual meet event. And twice, Cliff Keen prevailed on criteria.

Danbury native Jakob Camacho, a redshirt sophomore at North Carolina State preparing for his second varsity campaign wrestled once on Saturday.

Camacho dropped a 14-4 decision to Seth Gross of Cliff Keen in 3:40 at 57 kilograms (125 pounds) in the semifinal match. Gross, who currently a senior at Wisconsin, won a NCAA Div. I title with South Dakota State in 2018. Camacho finished 1-1 in the tournament.

For Danbury native Kevin Jack, a three-time All-American at North Carolina State, the tournament was his first competitive event since his final match in the 2018 NCAA tournament.

Jack also wrestled once on Saturday, dropping a 13-2 decision to Sammy Sasso of Ohio RTC in the quarterfinals at 65 kg (143 pounds). Jack got the first takedown of the match but Sasso had a pair of takedowns to grab a 6-2 lead after one period. Sasso, who won a Big 10 championship last winter, scored the final seven points of the bout to secure the win. Jack was 0-3 in the event.

The RTC Cup featured six of the top wrestling clubs in the country, including Cliff Keen Wrestling Club, which is based in on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Spartan Combat in Itacha, N.Y. with plenty of current and former wrestlers from Cornell University.

2020 RTC Cup
At Cincinnati
Final Standings                                              W-L       Money
First: Cliff Keen WC (Ann Arbor, Mich)           4-0        $50,000
Second: New Jersey RTC/Southeast RTC        2-3        $25,000
Third: Spartan Combat RTC (Ithaca NY)         3-2        $15,000
Fourth: Wolfpack WC (Raleigh NC)                 1-4        $7,500
Fifth: Ohio RTC (Columbus, Ohio)                   2-2        $2,500
Sixth: Gopher WC (Univ. Minnesota)              1-3

Cliff Keen WC (Michigan) 4, New Jersey RTC/Southeast RTC 2
At Cincinnati
57: Nahshon Garrett (NJRTC/SERTC) dec. Seth Gross, 12-4
65: Alec Pantaleo (Cliff Keen) dec. Matthew Kolodzik, 8-6
74: Logan Massa (Cliff Keen) dec. Mekhi Lewis, 3-2
86: Myles Amine (Cliff Keen) VSU Nate Jackson, 11-0 0:58
97: Ty Walz (NJRTC/SERTC) dec. Timothy Dudley 5-1
125: Mason Parris (Cliff Keen) VSU1 Jordan Wood, 12-1 4:52

Third place: Spartan Combat RTC (Itacha NY) 4, Wolfpack WC 2
At Cincinnati
57: Vitali Arujau (Spartan Combat) VSU Darian Cruz, 11-0 4:17
65: Yianni Diakomihalis (Spartan Combat) VSU Tariq Wilson, 11-0 3:23
74: Hayden Hidlay (Wolfpack) VSU Jevon Balfour, 11-0 4:47
86: Trent Hidlay (Wolfpack) dec. Drew Foster, 12-9
97: Jacob Cardenas (Spartan Combat) dec. Timmy McCall, 7-4
125: Dom Bradley (Spartan Combat) dec. Michael Macchiavello 2-1

5th Place: Ohio RTC 5. Gopher WC 1
57: Zach Sanders (Gopher WC) dec. Jack Mueller, 8-6
65: Sammy Sasso  (Ohio RTC) VSU1 Mitch Mckee, 14-4 5:45
74: Carson Kharchla (Ohio RTC) VSU Elroy Perkin, 11-0 1:02
86: Sammy Brooks (Ohio RTC) dec. Brett Pfarr, 2-1
97: Kollin Moore (Ohio RTC) dec. Hayden Zillmer, 2-2
125: Amar Dhesi (Ohio RTC) dec. Anthony Nelson, 3-2

Cliff Keen 3, Wolfpack 3. Cliff Keen wins on criteria, technical points, 14-11
At Cincinnati
57: Seth Gross (Cliff Keen) tech fall Jakob Camacho, 14-4 3:40
65: Alec Pantaleo (Cliff Keen) tech fall Tariq Wilson, 10-0 2:22
74: Thomas Gantt (Wolfpack) dec. Logan Massa , 7-3
86: Trent Hidlay (Wolfpack) dec. Myles Amine , 4-3
97: Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack) dec. Domenic Abounader, 7-2
125: Mason Parris (Cliff Keen) dec. Nick Gwiazdowski , 10-7

NJRTC/SERTC 4, Spartan Combat 2
At Cincinnati
57: Vitali Arujau (Spartan Combat) dec. Nahshon Garrett, 7-5
65: Yianni Diakomihalis (Spartan Combat) dec. James Green, 4-4
74: Mekhi Lewis (NJRTC/SERTC) VSU1 Jevon Balfour, 17-6 5:26
86: Nate Jackson (NJRTC/SERTC) VSU Drew Foster, 11-0 1:23
97: Ty Walz (NJRTC/SERTC) VPO Jacob Cardenas, 7-0
125: Jordan Wood (NJRTC/SERTC) default over Dom Bradley

SERTC/NJRTC 3, Gopher WC 3 (Criteria, classification points, 14-10)
At Cincinnati
57: Nahshon Garrett (NJRTC/SERTC) VSU Zach Sanders, 10-0 0:26
65: James Green (NJRTC/SERTC) VSU Brayton Lee, 11-0 3:44
74: Evan Wick (Gopher WC) dec. Mekhi Lewis, 11-5
86: Nate Jackson NJ (NJRTC/SERTC) VSU Brett Pfarr, 10-0 0:32
97: Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC) dec. Ty Walz, 6-1
125: Gable Steveson (Gopher WC) VSU Jordan Wood, 10-0 3:26

Wolfpack RTC 4, Ohio RTC 2
At Cincinnati
57: Darian Cruz (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Jack Mueller, 3-1
65: Sammy Sasso (Ohio RTC) tech fall Kevin Jack, 13-2 5:57
74: Carson Kharchla (Ohio RTC) dec. Thomas Gantt, 2-1
86: Trent Hidlay (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Sammy Brooks, 14-7
97: Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack RTC) dec. Kollin Moore, 6-6
125: Nick Gwiazdowski Raleigh, NC (Wolfpack RTC) tech fall Amar, 11-0 2:34

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

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