Release: March 21, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Binghamton wrestling crowned its first All-American since elevating to the Division I ranks as junior 184-pound Josh Patterson placed seventh at the NCAA Championships, held Thursday through Saturday at the Scottrade Center.
Patterson, ranked No. 6 in the country by USA Today/Intermat and seeded sixth among 33 wrestlers in the weight class, went 5-2 with two pins and three decisions. He won his opening match by fall over Mikal McKee of UNC Greensboro before being knocked into the wrestlebacks with a 6-3 loss to 11th-seeded Louis Caputo of Harvard in the second round.
But Patterson roared back with three straight wins to secure All-America honors. He pinned Eric Cameron of Indiana in 1:02, then earned a 5-2 decision over Rocco Caponi of Virginia. In the honors-clinching match, Patterson posted a 6-3 decision over fourth-seeded Kirk Smith of Boise State, who entered the tournament with a 36-1 mark. Patterson's quest for third place was halted when he was pinned in 2:30 by ninth-seeded Joe LeBlanc of Wyoming in a match Patterson led 4-1 before LeBlanc used a reversal to gain position and end the bout. In the seventh-place match on Saturday, Patterson exacted revenge on Caputo, earning a 4-2 decision.
"Josh making history is a huge step for our program," head coach Pat Popolizio said. "Any time you do something for the first time it's extra special. He definitely put our program on the national scene, which will help elevate everything across the board - the guys on team, future recruits, and everyone's expectations, which will now be higher. The amount of time and work Josh put in gave him confidence to have such a great season and also to believe that he was capable of achieving All-America honors and contending for a national title. He deserves all the honors and we're excited to have him back next year as he tries to become our first Division I national champion."
Patterson, who has qualified for the NCAA Championship all three collegiate seasons, finished his junior campaign with a 46-6 record, including a school-record 22 pins.
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