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Jack, Taylor earn medals at national tournament

Danbury’s Jakob Camacho finished second at 57 kilograms (125.6 pounds) at the USA Wrestling’s recent U.S. Open wrestling championships in Las Vegas. But the North Carolina State sophomore wasn’t the only Connecticut wrestler at the tournament.

Camacho’s North Carolina State teammate, freshman Ryan Jack of Danbury, wrestled in the U20 freestyle nationals and finished fifth. Newtown’s Nate Taylor participated in the U17 World Team trials and finished fifth at 92 kg (202.4 pounds) and Stratford’s Nico Provo, a first-year student at Stanford, went 3-2 in the U20 freestyle tournament at 61 kg.

Jack went 8-2 in the tournament to finish fifth with a 13-2 technical fall win over Joseph Zargo of Rhino Wrestling in 5:13. Jack, representing Wolfpack Wrestling Club, won his first match in the tournament before losing his second match to eventual national champion Vince Cornella of Spartan Combat RTC. Cornella scored four points in the last 48 seconds to earn a 8-4 win.

But Jack remained tough with six straight wins in the consolation round to earn a spot in the medal round. He had four wins by technical fall and a key 6-5 win over Michigan’s Tarrence Daugherty, Jr. to remain alive in the tournament.

By finishing in the top eight, Jack earned a spot in the U20 World Team trials in Geneva, Ohio on June 3-5. Jack will be in the challenge with the winner earning spot in the best-of-three final against Cornella.

Taylor, a student at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, went 5-2 in the tournament and finished fifth with a 5-1 win over Pennsylvania’s Austin Johnson. Taylor, who trains with Team Tugman in the off-season, won two matches by technical fall (10 points or more) and had one pin.

Provo won his first three matches at 61 kg (134.4 pounds) by technical fall before losing two straight to be ousted from the tournament. Provo, representing New York Athletic Club, didn’t give up a point in his first three bouts.

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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