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For Immediate Release: March 15, 2010
Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

BU wrestling holds Media Day before departing for NCAA Championship

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The Binghamton wrestling team held its postseason media day today just prior to departing for Omaha and the upcoming NCAA Championship, March 18-20. On the heels of the team's historic first conference championship, six Bearcat wrestlers - the most in school history - will compete at the national meet.

Fourth-year head coach Pat Popolizio and the six NCAA qualifiers spoke to the media.

Head Wrestling Coach Pat Popolizio

On the success of this year's team...
"It's been pretty exciting. We have good group of kids and they have been working hard all year. The guys take a lot of pride in what they are doing. It's been a lot of hard work. Having the right kids in the program, it's easy to work with them because they want to be here and put the time in. They motivate me, they motivate each other, they do whatever we ask and it has been an unbelievable year."

On the team's goals for the NCAA Championship...
"The ultimate goal for us is to win an individual national title; every guy that is going has been training all year for this. We have our work cut out for us but it's what we have trained for. We are prepared and have been looking through the brackets all week and are ready! Many of the guys have competed in world tournaments, high school and college tournaments. Obviously there are 33 guys in each bracket and we are just going to take one match at a time."

On senior All-American Josh Patterson and his final return to the NCAAs...
"I think Josh has learned from his experience going to the national tournament before. I think he knows better then anyone that you need to be prepared as soon as you set foot on the mat and not look back but at who you have in front of you. His ultimate goal which he is very capable of doing is winning a national tournament. He did it in high school and he placed last year, and he has learned from his loses this year."

Senior 174-pound Josh Patterson

On having five teammates with him at the 2010 NCAA Championship...
"It's awesome to have my teammates here working out with me, and it will be nice having them at the tournament and being able to support one another. I havent' really been mentoring the guys too much, but when we get out there I might give them some words of wisdom."

On his draw in the bracket and his chances of advancing...
"I like where I am in the bracket. I know there are going to be some tough kids in every weight and I know that in 174 there will be a lot of tough kids, so I am just going to wrestle my best and hope to be where I want to be at the end."

On his mid-year weight drop from 184 to 174...
"I feel I was a little outsized in 184 but I feel better being 174 and I have my weight under control. I'm just ready to have a good tournament."

On the team's first CAA Championship and the program's rise during his tenure...
"It was nice going out my senior year winning a conference tournament, considering where we started four years ago. It's nice that all our hard work these past four years is paying off."

Redshirt freshman 149-pound Donnie Vinson

On the team's success this year...
"Being a part of this program and having it succeed like this is pretty cool. I kind of knew we were going to come around and start making our way to the top. Overall the experience is awesome!"

On his personal goals for the NCAA Championship...
"For a satisfactory weekend I would like to make some upsets. I'm really hoping to make it to the round of 12 and become an All-American and top six finisher."

Junior 141-pound Anwar Goeres

On the team's CAA title...
"It was pretty special winning the conference. My parents were there and a few former players came. It was pretty fun and felt amazing jumping up after winning. It was a great feeling."

On the rapid rise of the program...
"It's great knowing that myself and everyone else is putting this team on the map. When I transferred here the coaches said 'We are moving fast and are not slowing down for anything' and we all support each other and want to win."

On the NCAA Championship and his opening match against the #3 seed...
"I'm not looking at my first match as a tough match. I am looking at it as just another step I have to take. No one said it was going to be easy to compete in the national tournament. I'd rather have a tough competitor off the bat. Going down there, it's good having someone else go with you. I don't know how Josh (Patterson) did it all by himself, but I'm glad that we can join him this year."

Sophomore 157-pound Justin Lister

On winning the CAA individual and team titles and advancing to NCAAs...
"Coach has been preparing us for this all year. For once I can say out of my entire wrestling career everything clicked for me and everyone stepped up to the plate. Coach couldn't have been more proud of us."

On the challenge and pressure of competing for the first time at NCAAs...
"It's not so much the pressure but in believing, and knowing that you can. Everyone is so good out there it comes down to who has the right mind set. It's more of the mental aspect than physical."

On the new heights the wrestling program has achieved...
"At first I thought this was just the average Division I wrestling program, but now we are breaking top-20 and showing up in magazines next to Iowa and Michigan State whose programs have been around for decades."

Freshman 184-pound Nate Schiedel

On qualifying for his first NCAA Championship as a freshman...
"It's been exciting getting ready this week. We've been training all year for this. I'm glad to see so many of our teammates going and competing."

On the team's success of qualifying six wrestlers for the NCAAs...
It's nice to see the work pay off and we are on the map. We put in a lot of hard work and I hope we get some new guys willing to work just as hard to keep the program going."

On the impact of teammate and All-American Josh Patterson...
"Its nice to have man there who has gone already and placed. I look up to him a lot and I hope I can follow his footsteps and be an All-American."

On when during the season he starting believing he could be an NCAA qualifier...
"After the second part of the season and I beat a lot of the CAA guys I started to realize I have the potential to go to the national tournament and do big things."

Sophomore 165-pound Matt Kaylor

On awaiting word of his NCAA at-large selection...
"It was pretty nerve racking waiting to see the brackets, but I was excited after I found out. It's definitely nice to know all our preparation this season has paid off. I'm really excited to see how I do against the best guys in the country."

On the team's success this year...
"Its really exciting to see how far our team has come. After all the work we have put in, its just a really good feeling."

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