The Binghamton men’s wrestling team celebrated senior day this past weekend by sweeping Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) opponents Harvard (3-3, 0-0 EIWA) and Brown (1-4, 0-2 EIWA) in a doubleheader on Saturday. The Bearcats kicked things off by defeating Harvard 28-9 in their opener, followed by a 24-9 win over Brown in their second matchup.
“I thought we did great,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “Harvard’s a good team. I thought that duel was going to be tight and our guys performed extraordinarily well. Brown scrapped hard. It was a good challenge for our guys, and it’s gonna pay off at the end of the year when we have to win matches back to back through the conference tournament and the NCAA championships.”
In the opening matchup, the Bearcats’ (6-3, 5-2 EIWA) victory over the Crimson was headlined by graduate student Lou DePrez’s win by pin in the 197-pound matchup and redshirt senior Cory Day’s win by pin in his 285-pound matchup. Continuing the Bearcats’ strong performances, junior Brevin Cassella won his 165-pound matchup by decision, while redshirt senior Jacob Nolan collected a major decision win in his 184-pound matchup.
“We went out and controlled that duel from start to finish,” Borshoff said. “Really great performances by our older guys [Nolan, DePrez and Day]. They’ve been doing what they did today for years for this program. It’s gonna be really challenging to make up for their loss next season. Just want to give a special shout-out to all those guys.”
In their second matchup against Brown, the Bearcats defeated kept the momentum going early with wins from junior Micah Roes in his 133-pound matchup and redshirt sophomore Nate Lucier in his 141-pound matchup. Roes and Lucier joined Cassella, Nolan, DePrez and Day in going undefeated at the doubleheader. In addition, after a slim 4-2 loss to his ranked Harvard opponent in his 174-pound, redshirt junior Dimitri Gamkrelidze bounced back to earn a 4-2 win by decision in his matchup with Brown.
“It’s nice to win both matches, but there’s always context included in that situation,” Borshoff said. “[Gamkrelidze] wrestled a top 10 guy in that first match against Harvard and lost a close one. It’s nice to win two, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really make a difference whether we win two or win one. These matches are practice for the end of the year. As long as we’re learning and getting better — that’s what I’m more concerned about.”
Freshman Jordan Brown collected his first collegiate victory, 10-7, in his 149-pound matchup against Harvard. The match had a contested finish, with a challenge coming from the Crimson’s coaching staff in the final seconds over a non-call on a perceived takedown. The call — which would’ve sent the match to overtime if reversed — stood after review, giving Brown his first career win.
“Big shout out to [Brown],” Borshoff said. “He got his first win in college and at home. As a true freshman, that was a really nice win for him. That was a good opponent from Harvard. Proud of [Brown] and what he was able to do.”
Nolan and Day were among the Bearcats celebrated during the senior night festivities. Nolan, who won went 2-0 on the weekend, reflected on his final time wrestling at home, in front of all the fans, as a Bearcat.
“This is my last home duel,” Nolan said. ” [It was] just good to go out there with my teammates. We worked so hard all year long. Just good to go out there and perform well in front of our fans. It’s the last time they’ll see me wrestle in Binghamton. I just wanted to make them happy and put on a show.”
The Bearcats back-to-back wins put them at a 5-2 EIWA record leading into the final stretch of the season. This weekend’s doubleheader also marked the final time Binghamton will take on Harvard and Brown as conference rivals, with the Crimson and the Bears leaving the EIWA after this season.
“It’s the last time those matches are going to be conference duels, which is a little bit sad,” Borshoff said. “The EIWA is splitting [and] the Ivy League is leaving, so the last time we got to call Harvard and Brown conference opponents was today. It was nice to end on a win.”
The Bearcats will hit the road to take on Hofstra on Friday, Feb. 9. First bout is set for 6 p.m. in the David S. Mack Physical Education Center in Hempstead, New York.