The Colonial Athletic Association announced on Tuesday that Binghamton University wrestler Donnie Vinson was named one of the two CAA Wrestlers of the Week. Vinson, a sophomore wrestling at 149 pounds, defeated sophomore Kyle Dake 5-3 during the Bearcats’ 35-3 loss against Cornell University last Friday. Cornell was ranked No. 2 in the country at the time, but regained the top spot in this week’s NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Dake won an NCAA championship at 141 pounds last season while earning Freshman of the Year honors. At the time of Friday’s dual, Dake was ranked No. 2 in the nation at 149 pounds according to InterMat, while Vinson was ranked No. 12. Vinson moved up to No. 7 when InterMat updated its rankings on Tuesday. Dake fell to No. 3.
On Sunday, Vinson was victorious over Max Mayfield 11-5 during Binghamton’s 22-18 loss to No. 15 Iowa State University, completing his 2-0 weekend. Vinson notched four takedowns en route to the win.
“Just staying aggressive, staying in [Mayfield’s] face, not letting him have any breathing room,” Vinson said, regarding his approach during the match. “When he did [shoot] I kept pressure on him, didn’t let him come back up very easily.”
Vinson boasts an unblemished 16-0 record in dual meets this season and a 19-2 overall record. During the New York State Championship, which Binghamton hosted on Jan. 22-23, Binghamton head coach Pat Popolizio said Vinson was wrestling the best he had seen him in his career. When asked if he agreed with his coach’s assessment, Vinson replied, “absolutely.”
“I’m not getting tired, all of my shots are working, I’m putting everything together, finishing well, I feel good, I look good, just doing everything right,” Vinson said.
Both of Vinson’s losses came in Binghamton’s first event of the season, which was the Binghamton Open on Nov. 14, held at the Events Center. He is on a 16-match winning streak. He is ranked No. 1 at 149 pounds in the CAA conference rankings. At the CAA duals in January, Vinson won all three of his matches, including a technical fall and a major decision.
The Bearcats (11-5, 3-0 CAA) are set for a conference clash at George Mason University (0-15, 0-5 CAA) tonight. Before then, though, Binghamton will have another crack at a nationally ranked team as the team is set to take on No. 18 American University (13-4) this afternoon. American faced two CAA teams in January and won both duals. It beat Drexel University 28-16 and George Mason 43-3.
The Eagles currently have six wrestlers ranked nationally, headlined by senior 157-pounder Steve Fittery, who is the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class. Vinson’s opponent at 149 is set to be junior Ganbayar Sanjaa, who’s ranked No. 12. Junior Ryan Flores is ranked No. 6 at heavyweight. Junior Matt Mariacher is ranked No. 13 in the 141-pound weight class. Sophomore 197-pounder Daniel Mitchell is ranked No. 19, and freshman Nick Arujau is ranked No. 20 at 125 pounds.
Binghamton sophomore Nate Schiedel fell to No. 15 at 184 pounds after going 0-2 last weekend. Junior Justin Lister, who fell out of the rankings earlier in the season, remains unranked despite beating then-No. 9 Andrew Sorenson in the Bearcats’ dual against Iowa State on Sunday.
The dual against American is scheduled for noon today, while the dual against George Mason is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.