Navy Wrestling Breaks Into Top 25
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Following its 22-13 victory over EIWA foe Drexel last Friday in Philadelphia, the Navy wrestling program has broken into the top 25 of the USA Today / National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Poll released on Tuesday afternoon. Ranked for the 123rd time in school history, it’s Navy’s first appearance in the coaches poll since the 2008-09 preseason poll.
Reigning National Champion Penn State stands atop the rankings with a 4-0 dual record and amassed 13 of the 16 first-place votes. The Nittany Lions are joined by Ohio State (4-0), Oklahoma State (3-0), Missouri (8-0) and EIWA member Lehigh (6-1) among the nation’s top five. Also representing the EIWA in the coaches poll is Cornell (1-0) at #13, while Drexel received 14 votes.
Primarily focused on tournament action over the first half of the season, the Mids have wrestled in just three duals to date, beating Delaware Valley twice (46-3 and 49-0), as well as Drexel a week ago. After dropping its first two matches against the Dragons, Navy went on to win seven of the next eight matches to remain unbeaten this season.
A veteran program, Navy’s starting 10 this season has been made up of seven seniors, one junior and a pair of freshmen. Among the eight upperclassemen, five - 141-pound Nicholas Gil (2016), 157-pound Zack Davis (2017), 174-pound Jadaen Bernstein (2015-16-17), 184-pound Michael Coleman (2017) and 197-pound Steban Cervantes (2017) - have qualified at least once for the NCAA Championship. Bernstein (#8) and Coleman (#17), along with sophomore 141-pound Jared Prince (#11), who has sat out the first half of the season due to injury, are among the current Intermat individual national rankings.
One of just 14 wrestlers in program history to reach 100 career wins, Bernstein is tied for 13th on the Mids’ all-time wins list with a 101-39 record. With a 12-2 mark this season and having reached the 30-win milestone in each of his previous two seasons, he is on track to finish his career ranked among the top five in school history. There have been only four wrestlers in Navy history to win 120 matches - all-time wins leader Bryce Saddoris (2008-10) with 147, Matt Stolpinski (2005-08) with 141, Greg Gingeleskie (1996-99) with 127 and Mark Conley (1999-02) with 126. Bernstein stands 12-2 this season.
Meanwhile, Gil (14-2), senior Corey Wilding (12-4 at 149), Davis (12-4), senior Drew Daniels (11-0 at 165) and Coleman (13-3) have reached double-figure wins this season. Davis, meanwhile, is 12 wins shy of joining Bernstein among the Mids’ 100-win club for his career.
The Midshipmen are currently in the midst of final exams and will take a short break for the holidays before returning to the mat where they will open the 2018 calendar year at the Southern Scuffle hosted by Chattanooga on Jan. 1-2.
### Go Navy ###