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Wrestling on rise ... up to No. 19 in national poll

Bearcats (11-2) travel to Stillwater to face No. 1 Oklahoma State on Sunday

January 25, 2012

Wrestling on rise ... up to No. 19 in national poll

NWCA/USA Today Poll

CAA Release

Contact: John Hartrick (

VESTAL, N.Y.—Binghamton wrestling continues to blaze an historic trail in the 2011-12 season. The Bearcats (11-2) moved up a notch to No. 19 in this week’s NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. The position is the highest sixth-year coach Pat Popolizio’s squad has ever been.

The team’s lone losses came by the slimmest of margins to now-No. 4 Cornell and No. 10 Oklahoma and Binghamton will now face its toughest opponent of the season in No. 1 Oklahoma State. The Beacats depart Friday for Stillwater and a Sunday afternoon matchup with an undefeated Cowboys team (8-0) that features eight ranked wrestlers. It will be the fourth meeting between Popolizio and his alma mater and former coach, the legendary John Smith. The Cowboys beat the Bearcats 32-9 in the last meeting two seasons ago. The match will also be the second time BU has faced the nation’s No. 1 team. In the 2008-09 season, BU lost to No. 1 Iowa 45-0 at the Northeast Duals.

Coming off a 3-0 weekend at the CAA Duals, BU dominated the weekly conference awards with junior 149-pound Donnie Vinson earning a share of Wrestler of the Week honors and BU’s stellar true freshmen Nick Gwiazdowski and Joe Bonaldi sharing Rookie of the Week laurels.

Vinson, 25-3 overall, kept his unbeaten dual meet string alive with three wins at the Duals. He is 13-0 in duals and moved up a spot to No. 4 in this week’s InterMat individual rankings. Vinson will face his toughest opponent of the season on Sunday when he squares off against No. 2 Jamal Parks of Oklahoma State.

Gwiazdowski knocked off the No. 1 wrestler in the CAA, Kyle Frey of Drexel, on Saturday, to boost his record to 19-4 overall, 9-1 in duals. Gwiazdowski also moved up a spot to No. 17 in the InterMat rankings. Like Vinson, he will have a stiff test in Stillwater against No. 2 Alan Gelogaev of Oklahoma State.

Bonaldi went 3-0 at the Duals, including an upset of the No. 1 wrestler in the CAA, Frank Cimato of Drexel. Bonaldi improved to 13-11 overall, 7-5 in duals.

Senior 157-pound Justin Lister also climbed a spot to No. 6 in the InterMat rankings with a 2-0 weekend. Lister is 20-2 overall and remained perfect in duals with a 12-0 mark.

Junior 184-pound Nate Schiedel is BU’s other ranked wrestler (InterMat). Schiedel went 2-0 at the Duals to raise his record to 21-6 overall, 9-2 in duals. He is No. 20 in the latest poll.

The Bearcats will face Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday and will also wrestle Bucknell at the triangular. The Bucknell match is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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