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Wrestling shines at Reno Tournament of Champions

No. 23 Bearcats place fourth, crown four placewinners with strong seven-man showing

December 18, 2011

Wrestling shines at Reno Tournament of Champions

Final Brackets

Team Scoring

Contact: John Hartrick (

RENO, Nev.—Binghamton wrestling, ranked No. 23 in the latest NWCA/USA Today poll, showed the strength of its lineup with a fourth-place finish at the 29-team Reno Tournament of Champions, held Sunday at the Reno Events Center. Despite bringing just seven individuals, the Bearcats produced four placewinners. The only teams that finished ahead of BU were nationally-ranked Oklahoma State (No. 2), Wyoming (No. 20) and Oregon State (No. 14). Binghamton totalled 68.5 points to edge fifth-place Michigan State (66).

“It was a very good tournament for us,” head coach Pat Popolizio said. “Individually a lot of guys won some big matches against ranked guys and a few of our unseeded guys placed and made huge statements. I was extremely impressed with Matt (Kaylor) and Nate (Schiedel) and how they represented themselves. Overall we accomplished what we wanted to - traveling across the country, finishing fourth and bringing home the hardware. Wrestling against these high-caliber programs with strong traditions will only make us even better down the road.”

Senior 157-pound Justin Lister, the No. 1 seed and ranked seventh in the nation, went 4-1 to place second in the field. Lister, now 15-2 overall, two pins and a major decision before losing a 5-3 decision to unseeded George Ivanov of Boise State in the final. 

Junior 149-pound Donnie Vinson also went 4-1 and placed fourth. Seeded third in the field, Vinson notched a pin and three straight wins to reach the semifinals, where he lost to the No. 2 seed, fifth-ranked Cole Von Ohlen of Air Force. In the wrestlebacks, Vinson, ranked No. 7 in the country, posted a 6-0 win before forfeiting the third-place bout with an injury. He improved to 19-3 this season.

Junior 184-pound Nate Schiedel went 5-2 to place fourth. Schiedel, now 17-5, racked up two pins and two major decisions. His only losses were two a pair of high-ranking foes - the top-seeded and No. 3 wrestler from Wyoming and the No. 4 seed and 11th-ranked wrestler from Appalachian State. Schiedel reached the third-place bout with a pin in 0:57 over the No. 3 seed.

Senior 165-pound Matt Kaylor  was BU’s other placewinner. Unseeded in a very tough bracket, Kaylor went 4-2 to snare fourth place. He raised his overall record to 14-4 and along the way, earned a 4-3 decision over the No. 2 seed and 13th-ranked wrestler in the country, Kyle Blevins of Appalachian State. Kaylor also eliminated the fourth-seed as well.

Sophomore 197-pound Cody Reed went 3-2 and bowed out just before a placewinner match, but not before putting a scare into the fourth-ranked wrestler in the nation. After two wins to open the tournament, unseeded Reed pushed top-seeded Cayle Byers of Oklahoma State to the wire in a 4-3 loss. After another win in the consolation bracket, Reed’s day ended with a narrow 8-6 loss.

Freshman heavyweight Nick Gwiazdowski also went 3-2 with three of his matches coming against nationally-ranked opponents. Gwiazdowski, 14-4 overall, made good on his first opportunity with a 6-4 decision over 12th-ranked Mike McClure of Michigan State. After a 6-1 decision, Gwiazdowski dropped a 7-2 decision to 11th-ranked Levi Cooper of Arizona State. In the consolation draw, he picked up a 10-2 major decision before running into the top-seed and No. 2 ranked wrestler from Oklahoma State one match shy of a place match.

Junior 133-pound Patrick Hunter was BU’s seventh competitor and went 3-2 with three decisions.

The Bearcats jump back into their dual schedule with a match at Buffalo on January 2.

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