Mids Place Fifth at EIWA Championship, Five Qualify for NCAA Championship
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Five 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 114th EIWA Championship held Saturday and Sunday at Hofstra’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex in Hempstead, N.Y. By way of their EIWA Championship finish, 141-pound Nicholas Gil (Jr / Crystal Lake, Ill.), 149-pound Jared Prince (So / Safety Harbor, Fla.), 165-pound Drew Daniels (Sr / Overland Park, Kan.), 174-pound Jadaen Bernstein (Sr / Glen Gardner, N.J.) and 184-pound Michael Coleman (Sr / Hudson, Ohio) have earned automatic bids to the 2018 NCAA Championship slated for March 15-17 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I am very excited about what I saw in several of our athletes this weekend,” said fourth-year Navy head coach Joel Sharratt. “When you have five automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championship and another who is competing for an at-large selection later this week, you know you are doing certain things right.”
For the first time in 12 years, the EIWA crowned a new team champion after Lehigh crowned five individual champions (125, 133, 174, 184, 285) and placed four others to pace the field. Cornell (141, 165, 197), winner of the last 11 EIWA team titles, Princeton (149) and Columbia (157) accounted for the remaining individual winners. Lehigh led the way with 164.5 points and saw head coach Pat Santoro win his first EIWA crown, while Cornell followed in second with 146 points. Princeton fell in at third with 93 points, followed by Drexel (86.5) and Navy (83) to round out the top five.
Heading into day two of the EIWA Championship, Navy had five wrestlers qualify for the semifinals. However, only one would move on to the championship bout. That one wrestler would be Bernstein who advanced to the championship bout after scoring a 4-2 decision over third-seeded Ben Harvey of Army. Bernstein scored the first points of the match with a takedown at the 2:08 mark and would never trail as he punched his ticket into the finals.
Bernstein’s hopes of claiming his second EIWA Championship title, however, came to an end when top-seeded Jordan Kutler rode out Bernstein in the second period and scored off an escape to open the third period en route to a 2-0 win.
“Jadaen wrestled to his seed and with his performance in the finals, he knows he has to make a couple small adjustments to be where he wants to be in two weeks,” said Sharratt. “This guys is not afraid of hard work and will leave no rocks unturned in preparation for his fourth trip to the big dance. It was very apparent that he broke through that upper level of competition this season and should expect his best performance in the coming weeks.”
Remarkably, Bernstein placed among the top four in each of his four seasons wrestling at the EIWA Championship. He won the crown as a freshman in 2015, placed third in 2016, finished fourth a year ago and took second on Sunday. He closes out competition at the championship with a 14-4 record over four seasons.
With 111 career victories and tied for ninth on the Mids’ all-time wins list, Bernstein will make his fourth NCAA Championship appearance. He is one of just seven men in program history to qualify all four year, joining Navy greats John Reich (1980-83), Frank Shaffer (1980-83), Scott Schleicher (1987-90), Dan Hicks (1992-95), Joe Baker (2006-09) and Bryce Saddoris (2008-11).
Taking third place for a second straight year was Prince, who now stands 8-2 all-time at the EIWA Championship. Prince dropped an 8-2 decision to top-seeded Matt Kolodzik of Princeton in the semis, dropping him to the consolation semis where he would pin Harvard’s Hunter Ladnier with just three seconds remaining in the match. Seeking to avenge a regular-season dual loss to third-seeded Cortlandt Schuyler, Prince dominated his Lehigh foe in a 16-1 third-period tech fall with better than four minutes of riding time.
Prince will make his second trip to the NCAA Championship.
“Jared was looking for a little revenge after an early loss to his Lehigh foe,” said Sharratt. “With the bonus points scored, he helped propel his probability for seeding consideration in Cleveland. He is a dangerous competitor, who can score big points in a variety of ways from all positions.”
Also taking third for the Mids was Daniels, who wrestled a solid tournament. The four-year starter failed to place in his first two appearances at the EIWA Championship, but broke through a year ago with a fifth-place finish at 165 pounds. Entering this year’s tournament, Daniels was poised to improve upon last year’s performance. Daniels put up a strong fight against top-seeded Jon Jay Chavez of Cornell in the semis, but succumbed, 6-3, in the semis. He bounced back, however, to defeat Brown’s Jon Viruet in a 3-2 dog fight before upsetting second-seeded May Bethea of Penn. Daniels jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and never trailed in the match that he went on to win by major decision, 10-2.
The old saying “good things come to those who wait” could not be more true than in Daniels’ case, who will make his first NCAA Championship appearance.
“Drew outperformed his seed in the tournament and was able to show the world how talented we know he is,” said Sharratt. “I believe this tournament and the success he had will provide him a big boost heading into his first NCAA Championship. The team and staff are very excited about the way he competed in every match this weekend.”
Gil dropped a 9-4 decision to top-seeded Yanni Diakomilhalis of Cornell in the semis, but fought back to earn a tech fal (23-5) over Brown’s Zeke Salvo to earn what will be his second NCAA Championship appearance. Lehigh’s Luke Karam, the third seed, went on to outlast Gil for third place by way of a 1-0 decision.
“With his freshman year NCAA experience and perspective gained against several highly-ranked athletes at his weight this season, Nicholas knows where he belongs,” said Sharratt. “He competes line to line and with some small adjustments, he has the capability of scoring multiple takedowns against the top ten in his matches.”
Coleman, meanwhile, lost a tough one in the semis, giving up a takedown in the final 20 seconds to fall, 8-7, to second-seeded Max Dean of Cornell. Coleman bounced back to pin the fourth seed Alex Deciantis of Drexel at 3:54 before bowing out of the tournament with a medical forfeit in the third-place match.
“Michael wrestled very well over the weekend and he improved his seed position with the NCAA rankings that will be coming out later this week,” said Sharratt. “He had every opportunity to take out of the top 12 athletes at this weight, but was dinged a little and unfortunately it may have cost him his trip to the EIWA finals. We are excited that he will be 100% and hungry for Cleveland!”
With his win over Deciantis, Coleman captured his 30th win of the season and became the 48th different wrestler in school history to reach 30 wins in a single season. He will make his second straight NCAA Championship appearance thanks to his fourth-place finish.
EIWA Coach of the Year
• Pat Santoro, Lehigh
Coaches Trophy for Outstanding Wrestler
• Ryan Preisch, Lehigh
John Fletcher Memorial Award (most career points)
• Darian Cruz, Lehigh (89.0 points)
Billy Sheridan Memorial Award (most fall in shortest amount of time)
• Ryan Preisch, Lehigh (3, 9:53)
1. 164.5 - Lehigh
2. 146.0 - Cornell
3. 93.0 - Princeton
4. 86.5 - Drexel
5. 83.0 - Navy
6. 66.5 - American
7. 65.5 - Binghamton
8. 56.5 - Army
9. 55.5 - Columbia
10. 50.0 - Brown
11. 49.5 - Harvard
12. 48.5 - Penn
13. 37.0 - Hofstra
14. 32.0 - Bucknell
15. 17.5 - Franklin & Marshall
16. 2.5 - Sacred Heart
125 - (8) Aslan Kilic
• def Matteo DeVincenzo, Princeton / Dec / 6-5
• lost to (1) Darian Cruz, Lehigh / Fall / 5:42
• lost to (7) Nolan Hellickson, Harvard / Dec / 6-1
133 - (7) Cody Trybus
• def Chris Scorese, Columbia / Fall / 3:22
• lost to (2) Scott Parker, Lehigh / Dec / 7-4
• lost to (8) Jacob Nicholson, Binghamton / Fall / 0:57
141 - (4) Nicholas Gil (Placed 4th • NCAA Qualifier)
• def JP Ascolese, Columbia / Major / 11-1
• def (5) A.J. Jaffe, Harvard / Dec / 5-3
• lost to (1) Yianni Diakomilhalis, Cornell / Dec / 9-4
• def Zeke Salvo, Brown / Tech Fall / 23-5
• lost to (3) Luke Karam, Lehigh / Dec / 1-0
149 - (4) Jared Prince (Placed 3rd • NCAA Qualifier)
• def Wil Gil, Franklin & Marshall / Major / 12-3
• def (5) Michael Sprague, American / Major / 13-5
• lost to (1) Matt Kolodzik, Princeton / Dec / 8-2
• def (6) Hunter Ladnier, Harvard / Fall / 6:57
• def (3) Cortlandt Schuyler, Lehigh / Tech Fall / 16-1
157 - (7) Zack Davis
• lost to Joe Velliquette, Penn / Dec / 9-3
• lost to Paul Klee, Sacred Heart / Dec / 6-4
165 - (5) Drew Daniels (Placed 3rd • NCAA Qualifier)
• def Ricky Stamm, Hofstra / Major / 14-4
• def (4) Gordon Wolf, Lehigh / Dec / 5-3 SV
• lost to (1) Jon Jay Chavez, Cornell / Dec / 6-3
• def Jon Viruet, Brown / Dec / 3-2
• def (2) May Bethea, Penn / Major / 10-2
174 - (2) Jadaen Bernstein (Placed 2nd • NCAA Qualifier)
• def Michael Eckhart, American / Tech Fall / 16-1 (4:42)
• def (7) Anthony Lombardo, Binghamton / Dec / 9-3
• def (3) Ben Harvey, Army / Dec / 4-2
• lost to (1) Jordan Kutler / Dec / 2-0
184 - (6) Michael Coleman (Placed 4th • NCAA Qualifier)
• def Conner Allshouse, American / Major / 16-5
• def (3) Steve Schneider, Binghamton / Dec / 3-1
• lost to (2) Max Dean, Cornell / Dec / 8-7
• def (4) Alex Deciantis, Drexel / Fall / 3:54
• medically forfeited (3) Steve Schneider, Binghamton
197 - (8) Steban Cervantes
• def Nezar Haddad, Hofstra / Dec / 6-4
• lost to (1) Ben Darmstadt, Cornell / Fall / 0:51
• lost to Rocco Caywood, Army / Dec / 3-1
285 - Andrew Piehl
• lost to (8) Ian Butterbrodt, Brown / Dec / 5-1
• def Sean O’Malley, Drexel / Dec / 4-2
• lost to (7) Christian Araneo, Princeton / Dec / 9-4
### Go Navy ###