All Four Navy Wrestlers Advance to Second Day of NCAA Championship
2017 NCAA Championship Results – Day 1
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Navy wrestlers Jared Prince (Fr / 141 / Safety Harbor, Fla.), Jadaen Bernstein (Jr / 174 / Glen Gardner, N.J.), Michael Coleman (Jr / 184 / Hudson, Ohio) and Steban Cervantes (Jr / 197 / Chula Vista, Calif.) all put together 1-1 marks on Thursday’s opening day of the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championship and will work their way through the consolation bracket when action resumes Friday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Navy is tied with Michigan State, North Carolina, North Dakota State and Northwestern for 38th among the field of 69 potential scorers with 3.5 points. Penn State, meanwhile, is atop the leader board (30.5) and holds a 4.5-point advantage over Ohio State (26.0). Oklahoma State is in fourth with 25.5 points, followed by Iowa in fourth (24.5) and Missouri (20) to round out the top five. Cornell currently sits in seventh with 19 points and is the highest among the EIWA schools.
“The Naval Academy had a strong first round today,” said third-year Navy head coach Joel Sharratt. “On the day, we faced three #1 seeds and three defending National Champions which provided us the opportunities to extend our performance against those who the nation hold in the highest regard. We competed with them and through today’s experience our men know what we need to do so we are not just competing, rather finding a way to win those critical matchups”
Prince, the 16 seed at 141 pounds, opened the tournament with a 7-3 victory over unseeded Colton Schilling of Cal Poly. Prince scored the first points of the bout, utilizing a fireman’s carry to successfully earn the takedown, but Schilling trimmed the deficit to one with an escape a short time after. Schilling evened the match with an escape just seven seconds into the second period, but Prince would get the takedown at the 1:16 mark in the period. Leading by just one heading into the final period, Prince was able to take advantage of Schilling riding too high and scored the reversal to take a 6-3 lead. Prince was rewarded with the riding time point to earn the win in his NCAA Championship debut.
“Jared got the team off to a strong start with a win in his first NCAA Championship bout,” said Sharratt. “The energy of these guys is contagious and our three other wrestlers rallied behind Jared as he was aggressive, controlled and smart in the first match.”
Prince faced top-seeded and defending National Champion Dean Heil of Oklahoma State in the nightcap. Heil struck quickly in the match, building a 4-1 advantage with a pair of takedowns in the opening period. Prince nearly had the reversal to begin the second period, but instead got the escape. He knotted the match with 24 seconds left in the period with a takedown, but was unable to ride out Heil as he scored the escape with just three ticks remaining in the period. Heil held on in the final period to hand Prince his first loss (8-5), while the Oklahoma State junior improved to 29-0 this season.
Prince will face Lock Haven’s Ronald Perry in his first match on Friday.
Bernstein looked to avenge his loss to 12th-seeded and returning All-American Casey Kent of Penn from just 12 days ago when Kent dealt Bernstein a 1-0 loss in the 174-pound third-place match at the EIWA Championship. Bernstein got in on a single leg before sweeping the leg on the edge of the mat for the takedown with 20 seconds left in the opening period. Kent, though, would wriggle free with under 10 to go to trail 2-1 heading into the second. Kent knotted the match by scoring the only point of the second stanza with an escape just two seconds into the period. Bernstein wisely chose the neutral position to start the final period and scored the match-winning takedown 49 seconds into the period. Though Kent would get within one with under a minute to go, Bernstein again took Kent to the mat with 30 seconds remaining and tacked on riding time for a 7-3 victory.
“Jadaen had the crowd on their feet with a very strong performance upsetting the #12 seed,” said Sharratt. “He made some great adjustments from the EIWA to his match today. It’s also critical to remember how hard he made Kent work at the EIWAs. There is no doubt the effort and relentless commitment to setting the pace of a bout returned in his opponent’s preparation for today. When you put someone through an extremely physical and tough match, win or lose they know what’s coming and not many people enjoy competing against the Navy way!”
Bernstein went on to suffer just his second career loss by technical fall when Penn State true freshman Mark Hall dealt him a 16-0 loss. Hall, seeded #5, is the most decorated wrestler in Minnesota High School history, putting together a 277-4 record en route to six Minnesota State Championships and 12 combined team and individual state titles.
Bernstein will take on Rutgers’ Jordan Pagano on Friday morning.
Earning a victory in his first NCAA Championship appearance, 197-pound Cervantes brought 16th-seeded Austin Severn of Central Michigan to the mat for the match-winning takedown with 35 seconds remaining in sudden victory. Cervantes took the early lead in the match, posting a 2-1 advantage heading into the second period. Severn, however, knotted the match with an escape and took Cervantes down using a high crotch to double leg just 10 seconds later. Cervantes would get to within one heading into the final period. He tied the match at four apiece with an escape 12 seconds into the period. Severn was in on a number of single legs, but Cervantes’ strength and will allowed him to fight off his foe.
For his win, Cervantes was rewarded with a matchup against two-time defending National Champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist J’Den Cox, who came into the tournament with a 23-0 record. Cervantes put up a solid fight against Cox who went on to defeat his Navy counterpart 12-3.
“Steban came out strong against a tough first-round opponent and did what we expected him to do,” said Sharratt. “He was aggressive early and scored the first takedown. At this level, not many athletes just pack it in. Steban weathered a tough comeback by his opponent, but ultimately his offensive shot put the match away.”
Cervantes will be paired up against 15th-seeded Ricky Robertson of Wisconsin on Friday.
After dropping his opening-round match to two-time defending National Champion Gabe Dean 21-12, Coleman regrouped and battled back by way of the consolation bracket. The first-time NCAA qualifier trailed 2-1 to open the second period, but an escape paired up with an exchange of power attacks with Christian LaFragola gave Coleman his first lead in the match at 4-2. LaFragola got to within one heading into the final period where he would go on to tie the match with an escape just eight seconds shy of Coleman reaching one minute of riding time. Coleman, however, had nothing to lose and went after the match-winning takedown with eight seconds to go to secure the 8-2 win and keep his hopes of earning All-America honors alive.
“Michael stood up to the #1 seed and showed the nation he is capable of scoring multiple takedowns against the best wrestler entering the tournament at 184 pounds. Wrestling aggressive doesn’t mean much if your not able to put points on the board.”
Coleman faces 15th-seeded Steve Schneider of Binghamton in a rematch of the EIWA semifinals where Coleman bested the Bearcat, 6-3.
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 Flowrestling.com(.) All three wrestlers must win three more matches to earn All-America honors.
“Every single guy has the opportunity to wrestle back tomorrow,” added Sharratt. “A year-round commitment and an institution committed to excellence is what will help these guys rise to the challenge tomorrow’s sunrise will bring.”
141 - (16) Jared Prince (Active - Consolation Bracket)
• def. Colton Schilling, Cal Poly / Dec / 7-3
• lost to (1) Dean Heil, Oklahoma State / Dec / 8-5
• Friday vs. Ronald Perry, Lock Haven
174 - Jadaen Bernstein (Active - Consolation Bracket)
• def. (12) Casey Kent, Penn / Dec / 7-3
• lost to (5) Mark Hall, Penn State / Tech Fall / 16-0
• Friday vs. Jordan Pagano, Rutgers
184 - Michael Coleman (Active - Consolation Bracket)
• lost to (1) Gabe Dean, Cornell / Major / 21-12
• def. Christian LaFragola, Brown / Dec / 7-4
• Friday vs. (15) Steve Schneider, Binghamton
197 - Steban Cervantes (Active - Consolation Bracket)
• def. (16) Austin Severn, Central Michigan / Dec / 6-4 SV
• lost to (1) J’den Cox, Missouri / Major / 12-3
• Friday vs. (15) Ricky Robertson, Wisconsin
### Go Navy ###