Immediate Release: March 14, 2007
VESTAL, N.Y.-- Binghamton University freshman 174-pound wrestler Josh Patterson (Ontario, N.Y.) will make his NCAA Championship debut Thursday at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Patterson is 27-10 overall and is one of three wrestlers from the Colonial Athletic Association in his weight class.
Patterson, who earned a wild card entry after finishing third at the CAA Championship, will await the winner of a first-round matchup between Matthew Maciag of Wisconsin and John Heleniak of Millersville. Looming next on Patterson's docket could be a meeting with No. 2 seed Keith Gavin of Pittsburgh.
The championship is a double-elimination format with the top eight wrestlers earning All-America honors. There are 36 wrestlers at 174 pounds, and Patterson has already wrestled seven of them during the season. Including matches against the three other CAA wrestlers who qualified in the weight class, he is 1-8. Six of the eight defeats have come by three or fewer points.
"Josh is focused and ready," head coach Pat Popolizio said. "He's a gamer and has shown he can compete at the national level, having won the high school national championship. Josh tends to rise to the occasion - the bigger the event the better his performance."
Popolizio, who twice earned All-America honors for Oklahoma State at the NCAA Championship, knows the formula for success at the pressure-packed national meet.
defending champion and No. 1 seed is tough, but the guys ranked
No. 2 through 12 are all about the same level," he said.
"But we'll take one match at a time. We've scouted and we
know what we need to do to win the first match. It doesn't matter
who you wrestle. Josh is ready and is excited to get started.
He's also relaxed, which is important. Good wrestling and being
relaxed wins at the national level."
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