Sophomore Nate Schiedel continued his impressive start to the season over the weekend as the Binghamton University wrestling team took part in the Penn State Nittany Lion Open on Sunday, following a pair of dual meet victories on Friday night. After finishing as a runner-up in his two previous tournaments, Schiedel went 5-0 at the Penn State Open to claim the 184-pound crown.

Schiedel, ranked No. 14 in the nation at 184-pound weight class, had previously placed second in both the Binghamton Open and the Cornell Body Bar. He won his opening round match 5-2 and recorded a third-period pin to advance to the quarterfinals. Schiedel edged Kadeem Samuels of Lehigh 6-5 to advance to the semifinals, where he recorded a pin at the 1:01 mark to advance to the finals. In the finals, he squared off against No. 6-ranked Quentin Wright from Penn State. The match came to an end in the second period as Wright had to forfeit due to an injury.

Binghamton entered Penn State after coming off a performance in which the team overcame two early deficits to come away with a couple of wins at a triangular in Princeton University’s Dillon Gym on Friday. The Bearcats (5-2) were down 7-0 early against Liberty University after losing the first two bouts, but took the next six bouts en route to a 25-13 win over the Flames. In their second dual meet against host Princeton, the Bearcats dropped the first three bouts and were in an 11-0 hole, but stormed back, winning the remaining seven bouts to take the dual 24-11. Liberty defeated Princeton 28-15 in the other dual meet.

“It’s nice picking up some wins,” said Binghamton head coach Pat Popolizio. “As a team, we’re not wrestling close to our best right now. I think it’s a good thing we’re still winning with guys not at their A-game, but they’re competing very hard, they’re wrestling hard, they’re just not sharp right now — which is fine; it’s real early in the season.”

Schiedel won both of his dual matches, one by technical fall and one by major decision. His 7-0 weekend gives him a 16-3 record for the season. He leads the team in wins and also has a team-high five pins. Popolizio explained that Schiedel is reaping the benefits of his hard work in the wrestling room, while also setting an example for his teammates.

“Consistency has been huge for Nate Schiedel,” he said. “His work ethic in the practice room is carrying over into competition. He’s putting together seven-minute matches, he’s wrestling hard for seven minutes, which, when you do that, you’re going to win at a very high level, and that’s what he’s been able to do. He’s leading; he’s a leader and he’s leading through competition right now.”

Senior Ryan McGarity finished in sixth place in the Penn State Open in the 174-pound weight class, going 6-2 in the tournament. McGarity was pinned in the round of 16 by Edward Ruth of Penn State, who went on to finish in second place. McGarity then won his next four matches in the consolation bracket — one of which came over No. 18 Ethan Headlee from the University of Pittsburgh — before falling in the fifth-place match. McGarity also won both of his dual matches on Friday, including one technical fall.

“He’s made a huge jump from where he was at a year ago,” Popolizio said of McGarity. “This year he’s making big strides week-to-week. He finished sixth at the Penn State Open … He beat the No. 18 kid in the country which was probably his biggest win in his career so far. I think that’s going to give him a lot of confidence, not just at this time of the year, but toward the end of the season. He’s putting himself in a position where he can compete when we get to the national tournament; he should be able to find a way to compete at that level at that time of the year.”

Three key starters for Binghamton — junior Justin Lister, ranked No. 14 in the nation in the 157-pounds weight class, senior Anwar Goeres (141) and sophomore Donnie Vinson (149) — did not compete in the event in order to get some rest. Lister, Vinson and junior Matt Kaylor (165) all won both of their dual matches. Vinson recorded a technical fall and a major decision.

“Donnie Vinson is wrestling very well right now,” Popolizio said. “As a team we’re a little bit banged up — no major injuries, just some minor ones. So we held out about four starters for the Penn State Open. But he’s another guy that’s been wrestling very well the last couple of weeks. His experience is going to show late in the season.”

This Sunday the Bearcats are set to face Army and Ohio University at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, N.Y. Popolizio is hoping all of his starters will be healthy enough to compete, but won’t know everyone’s status for certain until later in the week.

“Both programs are very solid,” Popolizio said of Army and Ohio. “They both have a good history. If the guys wrestle hard, we’ll put ourselves in a position to win both duals. That’s going to be the bottom line, just putting seven-minute matches together. Obviously our goal is to go in there and win both dual meets.”

The dual against Army is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., with the dual against Ohio set for a 3 p.m. start.