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Four Navy Wrestlers Advance to Second Day of NCAA Championship

Making his first career NCAA Championship appearance, senior Drew Daniels also earned his first-ever NCAA win with a 5-4 decision over Nate Higgins of SIU Edwardsville.
Making his first career NCAA Championship appearance, senior Drew Daniels also earned his first-ever NCAA win with a 5-4 decision over Nate Higgins of SIU Edwardsville.
March 15, 2018

NCAA Bracket

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Navy wrestlers Nicholas Gil (Jr / 141 / Crystal Lake, Ill.), Drew Daniels (Sr / 165 / Overland Park, Kan.), Jadaen Bernstein (Sr / 174 / Glen Gardner, N.J.) and Michael Coleman (Sr / 184 / Hudson, Ohio) made it through Thursday’s opening day of competition at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championship and will resume their quest to become All-Americans when action resumes Friday at 11:00 am at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.  Meanwhile, Jared Prince (So / 149 / Safety Harbor, Fla.) was eliminated from the competition with a pair of losses.

Navy is tied with Northern Colorado, Northwestern, Penn and Utah Valley for 36th among the field of 60 potential scorers with 4.0 points. Ohio State, meanwhile, is atop the leader board with 36 points and all 10 of its wrestlers still in action including nine in the championship bracket. The Buckeyes hold a 7.5-point advantage over Penn State (28.5), who has nine wrestlers still in the tournament. Iowa is in third with 27.0 points, followed by Michigan in fourth (23.0) and NC State (20.0) to round out the top five. Cornell currently sits tied for seventh with 15.0 points and is the highest among the EIWA schools, while Lehigh is ninth with 14.5 points.

While four Mids have advanced through to session III at the NCAA Championship, Bernstein is the lone Navy wrestler to still be active on the championship side of the bracket. One of only seven Navy wrestlers to qualify for four NCAA Championships, Bernstein opened the tournament with an 8-4 victory over unseeded Ty Schoffstall of Edinboro.  Bernstein, the #8 seed, never trailed in the match as he scored the opening takedown midway through the opening period.  He built a 5-1 lead to close out the second period and fought off a rallying Schoffstall in the third.  Schoffstall opened the period with an escape and was awarded a takedown with 57 seconds remaining in the match to trim Bernstein’s lead to one (5-4). The Navy veteran countered with a reversal on the edge of the match and tacked on a point with his near three minutes of riding time.

Bernstein went on to face ninth-seeded Keaton Subjeck of Stanford in the nightcap.  Subjeck scored a takedown just eight seconds into the match, but Bernstein was able to answer with a pair of touchdowns to take a 5-4 advantage and better than a minute of riding time into the second period.  Bernstein kept the one-point advantage (7-6) heading into the third period, but Subjeck appeared to catch his second wind and rallied to take a 10-9 lead with just 20 seconds left.  Bernstein, however, had the riding time to even the score at the end of regulation, forcing sudden victory.  Bernstein wasted little time in making his move, scoring the match-winning takedown just seven seconds into the extra frame to punch his ticket into Friday morning’s quarterfinal round.

This will be Bernstein’s second quarterfinals appearance, as he faced Indiana’s Nathan Jackson in the quarters in 2016. He suffered an injury during the match and have a lengthy break, Bernstein returned to the mat where he would drop the 14-1 major decision and be forced to withdraw from the competition due to a concussion.

With his two victories on Thursday, Bernstein improved to 24-5 on the year and 113-42 over four seasons.  Additionally, he moved into eighth on the Mids’ all-time wins list and is just one shy of tying Dan Hicks (1992-95) and Tanner Garrett (2003-06) for sixth.  Bernstein is now 8-5 all-time at the NCAA Championship.

Gil, who is seeded 14th at 141 pounds, opened the day with a 9-6 decision over Appalachian State’s Irvin Enriquez in what marked his first career win competing at the NCAA Championship.  Gil made his NCAA Championship debut two years ago as a freshman, but was eliminated following losses in both of his matches.  

In his nightcap, Gil faced a familiar foe in 2018 EIWA Champion Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell, who defeated Gil in the semis of the EIWA Championship (9-4) just 11 days ago.  Diakomihalis scored the early takedown, but Gil could not get any closer than his subsequent escape in what would end in a 13-4 major decision by Diakomihalis.

Gil, who is now 31-9 on the year, will face George Mason’s Tejon Anthony in Friday morning’s wrestlebacks.

After placing third at the EIWA Championship two weeks ago and earning his first trip to the NCAA Championship, 165-pound Daniels faced a tough challenge in his opening-round match against 10th-seeded Evan Wick of Wisconsin.  Though Daniels scored the first takedown just 20 seconds into the match, Wick settled in and used his length to outscore Daniels 10-2 over the next six-plus minutes for the 11-4 win (includes riding time).

Not to be denied an NCAA Championship victory, Daniels regrouped and put on a solid performance against SIU Edwardsville’s Nate Higgins.  Daniels jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first period, but Higgins used an escape to open the second and a takedown with just two seconds left to take a 4-2 advantage over Daniels going into the final period.  Daniels trimmed the lead to one with an escape 12 seconds in and methodically awaited his opportunity to attack.  He did just that with 16 seconds left, using a single into a double to earn his first career NCAA Championship win, 5-4.

Boasting a 27-6 record, Daniels will face Brown’s Jon Viruet in Friday’s wrestlebacks.

Earning his second consecutive NCAA Championship berth, Coleman dropped a 9-2 decision to sixth-seeded Zachary Zavatsky of Virginia Tech in his opening-round match.  Coleman was able to muster just a pair of escapes in a match that was dominated by Zavatsky as the Hokie built better than three minutes of riding time.

Coleman rallied in his nightcap to earn a 7-2 win over Drexel’s Alex DeCiantis.  Meeting for the second time in as many weeks, Coleman fell behind early, but by the end of the first period he held a 3-2 lead and nearly two minutes of riding time. The Navy veteran went on to score takedowns in both the second and third period to post a 7-2 victory.

Coleman, who leads the team in wins this season with a 32-7 record, will face Lock Haven’s Corey Hazel in Friday’s wrestlebacks.

Prince bowed out of the tournament following an 11-6 loss to second-seeded Brandon Sorensen of Iowa and a 4-3 decision against Lehigh’s Cortlandt Schulyer.  Despite an escape in the third period, Prince was unable to recover from the takedown he gave up to Schuyler with just two ticks left on the clock in the second period.

Gil, Daniels and Coleman will need to win three more matches to earn All-America honors, while Bernstein’s fate is yet to be determined since he remains in the championship bracket.

Action resumes Friday at 11:00 am (ET) with ESPN/ESPNU and ESPN3 (internet) providing wall-to-wall coverage.  Additionally, live results will be available on Trackwrestling.com(.)  


Navy Results
141 - (14) Nicholas Gil (Active - Consolation Bracket)
• def Irvin Enriquez, Appalachian State / Dec / 9-6
• lost to (1) Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell / Major / 13-4
• Tejon Anthony, George Mason / Wrestlebacks / Friday morning

149 - Jared Prince
• lost to (2) Brandon Sorensen, Iowa / Dec / 11-6
• lost to Cortlandt Schuyler, Lehigh / Dec / 4-3

165 - Drew Daniels (Active - Consolation Bracket)
• lost to (10) Evan Wick, Wisconsin / Dec / 11-4
• def Nate Higgins, SIU Edwardsville / Dec / 5-4
• Jon Viruet, Brown / Wrestlebacks / Friday morning

174 - (8) Jadaen Bernstein (Active - Championship Bracket)
• def Ty Schoffstall, Edinboro / Dec / 8-4
• def (9) Keaton Subjeck, Stanford / Dec / 12-10 SV
• (1) Zahid Valencia, Arizona State / Quarterfinals / Friday morning

184 - Michael Coleman (Active - Consolation Bracket)
• lost to (6) Zachary Zavatsky, Virginia Tech / Dec / 9-2
• def Alex DeCiantis, Drexel / Dec / 7-2
• Corey Hazel, Lock Haven / Wrestlebacks / Friday morning


### Go Navy ###

 

 

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