Trio of Tigers qualify for nationals, as RIT places ninth at NCAA Regional
February 25, 2018


ITHACA, NY – Freshman Kaidon Winters (Athens, PA/Athens Area), along with juniors Joe Cutugno (Ventnor, NJ/Atlantic City) and Connor Calkins (Almond, NY/Alfred-Almond) qualified for the NCAA Championships, as the RIT wrestling team placed ninth overall out of 17 teams at the 2018 NCAA Mideast Regional, hosted by Ithaca College on Feb 24-25 from Glazer Arena. RIT finished with 58 points, while host Ithaca won the team title with 145 points.

The top three finishers in each weight class earned automatic bids to the NCAA Division III Championships March 9-10 at the historic Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. It is the second consecutive season that RIT had three wrestlers qualify for nationals.

Winters finished 4-1 on the weekend at 157 lbs., finishing as runner-up. Winters opened the weekend by defeating Thomas Michaels of Keystone College with a fall in 2:31. He knocked off John Sheedy of Scranton, 4-2 before defeating Christopher Kummerer of Elizabethtown in the quarterfinals, 3-2. On Sunday, Winters cemented his NCAA Championship berth by defeating No. 9 Austin Whitney of Ithaca, 8-4 in the semifinals. Winters fell to No. 4 Zach Wilhelm of Stevens in the championship match. Winters improved to 40-8 on the season with a program-record 21 pins. He is just the second Tiger in program history to reach 40 wins in a season.

Cutugno went the long route Sunday in the consolation bracket, winning all three of his matches and five of six overall to finish third at 184 lbs. and earn his first NCAA Championship appearance. On Saturday, Cutugno defeated Austin Carr of Oneonta State, 14-2 before falling to Zachary D'Apolito of Scranton, 6-4. Cutugno earned a pin in 3:42 over Bruce Parola of Stevens in his first consolation match. On Sunday, Cutugno knocked off Quinn Ruble of Elizabethtown, 12-4 and Kurtis Kahn of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, 5-2 to reach the third place match. Cutugno gained revenge on D'Apolito, earning a 7-4 win in the third place match to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships. Cutugno is now 25-9 in 2017-18.

Calkins went 4-1, placing third at 285 lbs. to earn his first NCAA Championship berth. Calkins reached the semifinals after a pair of wins Saturday. He opened the championship by defeating Constantious Stavroulakis of Hunter College by technical fall. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Nick Rivera of Centenary University, 2-1. Calkins fell to No. 2 Jake O'Brien of Ithaca in the semifinals on Sunday, 3-1 in overtime. Calkins rebounded to defeat Austin Dean of Brockport, 8-5 and in the third place match, used a late takedown to earn a 3-2 win over Victor Raigoza of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Calkins, who joined the Tigers at midseason, moved to 12-4 in 2017-18.

Senior Andrew Flanagan (Holley, NY/Holley) earned win by fall over Jace Garza of Merchant Marine Academy in 1:21. Shane Murphy (Mt. Olive, NJ/Mt. Olive) picked up a win in the consolation round at 141 lbs., defeating James Harkness of Ursinus, 11-7. Colby Hall (Deposit, NY/Deposit) (165 lbs.) picked up a 12-8 win over Jackson Bell of Brockport in his opening round match. Trevor Snow (Dexter, NY/General Brown) (174 lbs.) earned a technical fall win over Andrew Gombas of Scranton, while Matt Cicco (Wheatfield, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield) (197 lbs.) defeated Declan Gray of Hunter by fall in consolation action.

Both Hall and Cicco picked up their 20th wins of the year. Flanagan ends his season with 15 victories, while Snow concludes his campaign with 14 wins.