Immediate Release: March 3, 2007
FAIRFAX, Va.-- Binghamton University wrestling placed seventh out of 11 teams at the Colonial Athletic Association Championship, held Friday and Saturday on the campus of George Mason. The Bearcats had two placewinners - freshman 174-pound Josh Patterson (Ontario, N.Y.) and junior 149-pound Kyle Fried (Rock Hill, N.Y.).
Patterson stunned the No. 1 seed, Alton Lucas of Hofstra, 4-2 in the quarterfinals, and ultimately earned a wild card berth after placing third. He lost in the championship bout, 12-10, to 20th-ranked Doug Umbehauer of Rider, and then was defeated by Drexel's Nick Kozar, 5-3, in the true second-place match. The top two wrestlers in each weight class earned NCAA berths, but Patterson was selected as one of the three wild cards afforded to the CAA. The win over Lucas, who was ranked No. 9 in the country and wound up fourth, was pivotal in Patterson's selection. All four CAA placewinners at 174 advanced to the NCAAs.
"Josh had a great conference tournament," head coach Pat Popolizio said. "To knock off Lucas showed the kind of talent and resolve he has."
Fried also had an excellent championship, going 4-1 to place third. He lost an 8-5 decision to eventual runnerup Mike Kessler of Rider in the semifinals, but battled back with two wins in the backdraw. As a third-place finisher, he merited consideration for a wild card spot but came up short in the voting. Fried, who earned a national ranking as high as No. 13 during the season, finished his first campaign at Binghamton with a 26-13 overall record.
"Kyle had an outstanding tournament," Popolizio said. "His only loss was to the Rider kid, and he showed signs of being ready to advance to the NCAAs, but unfortunately some of the other coaches didn't feel that way. He proved he could compete and during the season he beat several kids who did advance. We know Kyle is good enough to get to the NCAA Championship and he'll have one more year to prove it."
Freshman Brandon Toro-Segarra (Brentwood, N.Y.) went 2-2 with a pin at 141 pounds.
Patterson will head to Auburn Hills for the NCAA Championship on March 15-17. He is the first BU wrestler to advance to the national championship since Josh Ruff went in back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004.
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