Navy Finishes Fifth at 113th EIWA Championship, Six Mids Place
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Six of the Mids’ 10 entrants placed among the top eight in their respective weight classes to lead the Navy wrestling team to a fifth-place finish at the 113th EIWA Championship held Friday and Saturday at Bucknell’s Sojka Pavilion. By way of their EIWA Championship finish, 141-pound Jared Prince (Fr / Safety Harbor, Fla.), 174-pound Jadaen Bernstein (Jr / Glen Gardner, N.J.) and 184-pound Michael Coleman (Jr / Hudson, Ohio) have earned automatic bids to the 2017 NCAA Championship slated for March 16-18 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Cornell, who claimed its 11th consecutive team title, led the way with four individual champions (157, 165, 174, 184), while Lehigh (125, 133), Princeton (141, 149), Penn (197) and Columbia (285) accounted for the remaining six winners. Cornell paced the field with 163 points, while Lehigh followed in second with 117.5. Princeton fell in at third with 113 points, followed by Army West Point (82.5), Navy (75.5), Bucknell (75), American (70), Binghamton (66), Drexel (65), Harvard (63.5), Penn (61), Columbia (50), Brown (31.5), Hofstra (18), Franklin & Marshall (3.5) and Sacred Heart (0.5).
“This team battled for 48 hours and they came along way in understanding “all-in commitment,’” said third-year Navy head coach Joel Sharratt. “We have two weeks to make some adjustments and I believe we are not far off in several weights in terms of making some noise in St Louis.
“Our fans and team members represented Navy Wrestling with dignity and honor as they received the Sportsmanship award. We are Leaders of Character, preparing to lead our nation’s finest in combat operations of our country’s future. I am extremely proud of these men today.”
Heading into day two of the EIWA Championship, Navy had three wrestlers qualify for the semifinals. However, only one would move on to the championship bout. That one wrestler would be junior 184-pound Michael Coleman who advanced to the championship bout after scoring a 6-3 decision over second-seeded Steve Schneider of Bucknell.
Although Coleman won his first two matches by fall and was the recipient of the Billy Sheridan Memorial Award for most falls in the shortest amount of time, he would face perhaps the most decorated foe in his three seasons in the form of two-time defending NCAA Champion Gabe Dean, who stands 148-6 over his four seasons at Cornell including 31-0 this season.
Dean recorded 11 takedowns against Coleman en route to a 24-9 tech fall and became only the 11th wrestler in EIWA history to claim four Eastern titles.
“Michael out-performed his seed and being presented the Sheridan Award is a great accolade for him to take forward to St Louis,” said Sharratt.
Coleman, who needed to finish among the top seven to qualify for the NCAA Championship, became the fourth wrestler on Navy’s roster to reach 20 wins and currently stands 20-7.
Seeded fourth, Prince met top-seeded and eventual champion Matt Kolodzik of Princeton in the semis. With the bout knotted at one apiece, Kolodzik scored the match-winning takedown with just 18 seconds remaining in the final period to send Prince to the consolation bracket. The Navy rookie bounced back to defeat Binghamton’s Dylan Caruana, 11-4, setting up a third-place matchup against third-seeded Tyler Smith of Bucknell.
Prince took Smith down to the match halfway through the opening period, but Smith was able to get the escape less than 30 seconds later. Smith evend the match at 2-2 with an escape 15 seconds into the second period and took a 4-2 advantage with a takedown with 39 seconds remaining in the period. Prince leveled the match at 4-4 when he was awarded a reversal with 35 seconds left in regulation. Neither wrestler would score during that final half minute of action, sending the match into a one-minute sudden victory period. Prince scored a dramatic takedown with just 16 seconds left to finish third with a 6-4 (SV2) win in his first appearance at the EIWA Championship.
Joining Coleman at the NCAA Championship in a handful of weeks, Prince has produced a 25-7 record to date.
“Jared was in a war in the semifinals and put himself in position to be seeded in St Louis,” added Sharratt. “He is so mentally strong and is capable of making adjustments mid-match that favor his winning outcome. He is really wrestling well right now and will shift to a higher gear in the coming weeks. He always rises to the challenge!”
Taking fourth at 174 pounds was Bernstein, who has now qualified for the NCAA Championship in each of his three seasons at the Naval Academy. Bernstein was hoping to win a second EIWA title, however, top-seeded Brian Realbuto defeated the Navy junior for a second straight year in the semis of the conference championship. The two wrestlers were tied up at four points apiece going into the final period, but an escape to open the third stanza gave Realbuto the lead for good with a takedown and riding time sealing the 8-4 victory.
Bernstein rallied and topped sixth-seeded Jonathan Schleifer of Princeton, jumping out to a 4-2 lead before posting the 7-3 victory. Bernstein went on to meet third-seeded Casey Kent of Penn for third place. The nation’s 13th-ranked wrestler would edge Bernstein, scoring the lone point via an escape 17 seconds into the final period.
Bernstein is hoping three times is a charm at the NCAA Championship where he bowed out a year ago after suffering an injury. The three-year starter at 174 pounds now owns a 28-6 record this season.
“Bernstein’s battle with All-American Casey Kent shows he is ready to compete for the podium, but he does have to make some adjustments as he prepares for that opportunity,” said Sharratt.
Junior 165-pound Drew Daniels (Jr / Overland Park, Kan.) came into this year’s conference championship searching for his first win at the tournament. In turn, he earned a fifth-place finish after putting together a 4-2 record and perhaps the most competitve match results among all wrestlers. The largest margin of victory or defeat in his six matches was three points, a 3-0 loss he suffered at the hands of top-seeded Brandon Womack of Cornell in the quarters.
Daniels earned a controversial victory in his first match of the day, earning the win after fifth-seeded Austin Rose was called for stalling, his second of the match, with 27 seconds remaining in sudden victory to give Daniels the 2-1 win. The following match third-seeded Tyrel White of Columbia rode out Daniels the entire second period to gain riding time, while also picking up the escape to start the third period for the 2-0 win. Daniels, seeded eighth in the tournament, would go on to meet fourth-seeded Jon Viruet of Brown for fifth place. Both wrestlers scored an escape from their respective bottom positions in the second and third periods, forcing extra minutes. Just 16 seconds elapsed when Daniels made the move and scored the necessary takedown to earn the 3-1 (SV) victory.
“Daniels battling it out for a fifth-place finish is the catalyst he needs to instill that level of confidence that he belongs at the next level,” said Sharratt. “He is right there!”
Just a year ago, Zack Davis (Jr / Granger, Ind.) placed third at the EIWA Championship at 133 pounds. This week he was asked to step in at 157 pounds to replace freshman Zach Elvin who has been injured the better part of the second half of the season. Davis was stout in the tournament and closed out the weekend with a sixth-place finish. He began Saturday by routing Binghamton’s Tristan Rifanburg, 12-0, setting up a consolation semis match against eighth-seeded Steven Galiardo of Brown. The two wouldn’t make it out of the opening period before Davis would step away from the match with an injury that would also keep him from facing third-seeded Victor Lopez in the fifth-place bout.
“Zack stepping into the lineup and placing at the conference tournament is the type of young man this program is founded upon. I can’t say enough about his poise and willingness to rise to the challenge,” added Sharratt.
Navy’s final placewinner was 197-pound Steban Cervantes (Jr / Chula Vista, Calif.) who finished eighth. Making his first appearance in the tournament since his rookie year, Cervantes dropped both of his matches on Saturday, 6-0 to American’s Jeric Kasunic and 12-7 to Binghamton’s Mark Tracy.
EIWA Award Winners
John Fletcher Memorial Award (most career points)
• Gabe Dean, Cornell (96.5 points)
Billy Sheridan Memorial Award (most fall in shortest amount of time)
• Michael Coleman, Navy (2, 1:38)
EIWA Coach of the Year
• Rob Koll, Cornell and Chris Ayres, Princeton
Coaches Trophy for Outstanding Wrestler
• Gabe Dean, Cornell
1. 163.0 - Cornell
2. 117.5 - Lehigh
3. 113.0 - Princeton
4. 82.5 - Army West Point
5. 75.5 - Navy
6. 75.0 - Bucknell
7. 70.0 - American
8. 66.0 - Binghamton
9. 65.0- Drexel
10. 63.5 - Harvard
11. 61.0 - Penn
12. 50.0 - Columbia
13. 31.5 - Brown
14. 18.0 - Hofstra
15. 3.5 - Franklin & Marshall
16. 0.5 - Sacred Heart
125 - Brant Leadbeter
• lost to (1) Darian Cruz, Lehigh / Fall / 2:10
• lost to Matteo DeVincenzo, Princeton / Dec / 9-6
133 - Cody Lambert
• lost to (6) Austin Harry, Army West Point / Major / 21-8
• lost to Audey Ashkar, Binghamton / Dec / 5-0
141 - (4) Jared Prince (Placed 3rd, NCAA Qualifier)
• def. Zeke Salvo, Brown / Tech Fall / 18-3 (4:37)
• def. (5) Logan Everett, Army West Point / Fall / 6:23
• lost to (1) Matt Kolodzik, Princeton / Dec / 3-1
• def. Dylan Caruana, Binghamton / Dec / 11-4
• def. (3) Tyler Smith, Bucknell / Dec / 6-4 SV
149 - Corey Wilding
• def. (6) Joe Oliva, Penn / Dec / 6-5
• lost to (3) Matt Cimato, Drexel / Major / 11-1
• lost to (4) Jonathan Furnas, Cornell / Major / 12-2
157 - Zack Davis (Placed 6th)
• def. (3) Victor Lopez, Bucknell / Dec / 6-3
• lost to (6) Mike D’Angelo, Princeton / Dec / 10-7
• def. Laurence Kosoy, Columbia / Major / 10-0
• def. Tristan Rifanburg, Binghamton / Major / 12-0
• lost to (8) Steven Galiardo, Brown / Injury / 2:48
• lost to (3) Victor Lopez, Bucknell / Medical Forfeit / ---
165 - (8) Drew Daniels (Placed 5th)
• def. Rob King, Franklin & Marshall / Dec / 2-1
• lost to (1) Brandon Womack, Cornell / Dec / 3-0
• def. Leonard Merkin, Princeton / Dec / 3-2
• def. (5) Austin Rose, Drexel / Dec / 2-1 SV
• lost to (3) Tyrel White, Columbia / Dec / 2-0
• def. (4) Jon Viruet, Brown / Dec / 3-1 SV
174 - (4) Jadaen Bernstein (Placed 4th, NCAA Qualifier)
• def. Jimmy Stillerman, Franklin & Marshall / Tech Fall / 20-5 (5:18)
• def. Josef Johnson, Harvard / Dec / 7-3
• lost to (1) Brian Realbuto, Cornell / Dec / 8-4
• def. (6) Jonathan Schleifer, Princeton / Dec / 7-3
• lost to (3) Casey Kent, Penn / Dec / 1-0
184 - (3) Michael Coleman (Placed 2nd, NCAA Qualifier)
• def. Edward Antler, Sacred Heart / Fall / 1:30
• def. Jacob Young, Columbia / Fall / 0:08
• def. (2) Steve Schneider, Binghamton / Dec / 6-3
• lost to (1) Gabe Dean, Cornell / Tech Fall / 24-9 (6:40)
197 - (4) Steban Cervantes (Placed 8th)
• lost to Rocco Caywood, Army West Point / Dec / 3-2
• def. Gordon Bolig, Franklin & Marshall / Major / 10-2
• def. (6) Ben Haas, Lehigh / Injury / 0:32
• lost to (7) Jeric Kasunic, American / Dec / 6-0
• lost to (8) Mark Tracy, Binghamton / Dec / 12-7
285 - Thomas Ott
• lost to (6) Craig Scott, Cornell / Dec 4-1
• def. Corey Kerkesner, Franklin & Marshall / Dec / 9-4
• lost to (5) Tyler Greene, Bucknell / Dec / 4-2 SV2
### Go Navy ###