The Binghamton wrestling team opened its season this weekend hosting a dual meet against Northern Colorado on Saturday and the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open on Sunday. After dropping the dual meet the day prior, the Bearcats had four separate wrestlers placed in the top five in their weight classes on Sunday.

“I thought we competed hard,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “It was a great opportunity for some of the younger guys to get some matches in. Some of our guys haven’t seen a lot of action over the past couple of seasons, and I thought overall we wrestled hard, [but] we made some mistakes in certain areas that we’ve got to clean up and fix.”

The tournament saw several Bearcats (0-1) see their first collegiate action and get wins. Redshirt freshman Nate Lucier and freshmen Fin Nadeau, Carter Baer and Will Ebert all earned their first college wrestling victories of their careers. Lucier won his first bout in the 141-pound weight class, then went on to lose in the round of 32 and in the first round of the consolation bracket. Nadeau took home a sixth place finish in the 149-pound weight class after making it to the quarterfinals and then winning two bouts in the consolation bracket. Baer and Ebert both went as far as the round of 16 before falling, although Ebert went further in the consolation bracket.

“Getting your first college win is just different,” Borshoff said. “Some levels when they get here, you’re starting over. Wrestling Division 1 is much harder than anything they’ve ever done or anywhere they’ve ever competed, so getting a win in our home arena early in their career is great to see.”

Redshirt junior Sam DePrez was BU’s top competitor of the day with a runner-up in the 174-pound weight class. He won his first bout in the round of 16 by a 11-2 major decision, and the redshirt junior went on to take the quarterfinal match along with semifinal match before heading into the final bout. However, DePrez was defeated in the finals by way of a 8-1 decision.

“It was great to see [DePrez] in the finals at his third different weight that he’s competed at, in our open, since he’s been here,” Borshoff said. “He started at 197 a few years back and has made his way down to 174 pounds. Then getting some of the young guys placing, I thought it was a good event.”

Sophomore Dimitri Gamkrelidze finished in third place in the 165-pound tournament. Gamkrelidze won his first match of the day with a 12-1 major decision in the round of 16. The sophomore went on to win his quarterfinal match before losing in the semifinal. However, Gamkrelidze bounced back to win the third place bout via 4-2 decision.

“[Gamkrelidze] did a really nice job at 165 pounds,” Borshoff said. “He didn’t start wrestling until his senior year of high school … But taking third today and beating many guys who have been competing or wrestled their entire lives … I think that’s just a cool story line that will be fun to continue following throughout his career here.”

Other top-five finishers included graduate student Michael Zarif at 149 pounds and sophomore Ivan Garcia at 133 pounds. Zarif swept his first three bouts, winning by decision in all three matches. The graduate student then lost in the semifinal match and eventually dropped the third place match as well to earn a fourth place finish. Despite losing his first bout, Garcia coasted through the consolation bracket and eventually ended up in the fifth place match. There, the sophomore earned a victory via 5-2 decision to take fifth place in the 133-pound weight class.

“The one thing you never want to see as a coach is guys quitting and putting their head down and giving up,” Borshoff said. “Whether they’re down and they give up, or it’s close and they let it slip away, our guys didn’t do that. They wrestled good, tough matches. When we got beat, we got beat because of certain positions, so we got a lot to build on.”

BU will return to action on Friday, Nov. 18 against North Dakota State. First bout is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Scheels Center in Fargo, North Dakota.