Immediate Release: March 9, 2011
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Six Binghamton University wrestlers have earned berths to the upcoming NCAA Championship, held March 17-19 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The 330 wrestlers and full brackets for all 10 weight classes (33 in each) were unveiled Wednesday night. The six berths matches the program-best six produced by last year's team. For five of the Bearcats, it will be a return trip to the national championship.
Advancing to the NCAA are reigning CAA champions, senior 141-pound Anwar Goeres, junior 157-pound Matt Kaylor and junior 165-pound Justin Lister. Nationally-ranked sophomore Donnie Vinson (149) qualified with his runnerup performance. Nationally-ranked sophomore Nate Schiedel (184) was also a runnerup and earned one of the coveted 50 at-large NCAA bids reveiled during the Selection Show, as did senior 174-pound Ryan McGarity, who reached the CAA semifinals and was rewarded for his 30-win season.
Of the six wrestlers, four will face unseeded opponents in the first round, giving BU a shot for a quick start on opening day.
"It's exciting to get two wild cards," head coach Pat Popolizio said of the announcement. "It gives new life to those guys - that's what this tournament is about. A fresh start. Our goal is always to advance as many guys as possible to NCAAs and now we have six guys who have a chance to become a national champion or All-American.
"Donnie (Vinson) getting the No. 9 seed shows he is capable of being an All-American and national champion," Popolizio added. "He will have to win some matches to get there but we like his draw. Justin (Lister) will be tested early but his experience from last year will help him. It doesn't matter who you face - everybody deserves to be there - these are the best guys in the country - and we couldn't be more proud of our six guys for earning a spot in this great event."
Goeres (24-8) repeated as CAA champion and drew sixth-seeded Andrew Alton of Penn State for his opening match. Goeres went 1-2 at last year's NCAA Championship, posting a decision in the consolation round.
Kaylor (28-9) captured his first CAA crown and will face unseeded David Bonin of Northern Iowa in his first NCAA match. A win would likely send Kaylor into a second-round matchup with the No. 3 seed. At last year's NCAAs, Kaylor scored a first-round decision before dropping two straight.
Lister (22-6), a reigning All-American, won his second straight CAA title and drew unseeded Kyle Blevins of Appalachian State for his opening match. Looming in the second round is the top-seed. Lister's remarkable run at the 2010 NCAA Championship was well documented. An unseeded entry at 157, Lister pinned two top-4 seeds, won four matches and became the first BU wrestler to reach the national semifinals - and the first unseeded wrestler in the country to advance to the semis in seven years.
Vinson (26-4), CAA runnerup for the second straight year, earned a No. 9 seed - the only BU wrestler to gain a seed. He will face unseeded Coulthurst Schmitt of Wisconsin in the opening round. Last season, Vinson went 1-2 at the NCAAs, eliminating the 12th-seed before losing a tough overtime decision to Kyle Borshoff - the brother of current BU assistant coach Jasen Borshoff.
Schiedel (32-7) earned an at-large bid due to his win percentage (82%) and high ranking in the Coaches' Panel (16th) and RPI (12th), which measures the strength of his opponents. He drew a tough assignment of the No. 4 seed, Travis Rutt, of Wisconsin, in the first round. It is a rematch of last year's opening round, when Rutt posted a 7-3 decision. Schiedel went 0-2 at the NCAAs a year ago, losing a 3-1 decisions in the wrestlebacks.
McGarity (30-17) snared a bid with a strong set of criteria that included head-to-head comparison and quality wins. He was 29th in the nation in RPI and strong early-season showings at the Cornell Body Bar (4th) and Penn State Open (6th) helped his cause. It is McGarity's first NCAA bid and extends his final collegiate season.
On the strength of Lister's placement and nine total wins at the NCAAs, the Bearcats tied for 21st in the final 2010 national standings. Four-time NCAA qualifier Josh Patterson graduated from that group of six BU qualifiers and McGarity essentially replaces him, joining the five returning wrestlers who accomplished the difficult task of earning a repeat trip. Wrestling begins at 11 a.m. on March 17 at the Wells Fargo Center.
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