Over the weekend, the Binghamton men’s wrestling team competed at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) championships — earning seven podium finishes across the board. Graduate student Lou DePrez and junior Brevin Cassella led the way with top-three podium finishes at 197 and 165 pounds respectively, clinching trips to the NCAA wrestling championships with their performances alongside graduate student Cory Day and graduate student Jacob Nolan.

“I thought we had a good weekend,” said Binghamton coach Kyle Borshoff. “Qualifying four wrestlers to the [national] championships is awesome. Glad those guys are going to have that opportunity. Unfortunately, a couple of other guys we were very close to punching through and didn’t quite make it, still had seven podium finishes but fell just short at a couple of those weights. I’m sure a couple of those guys wish they had a few seconds back to change the outcome, but I’m excited to head to the NCAA championships with four guys again.”

Although defeated in a close 4-1 decision by his Cornell opponent in the 197-pound semifinals, DePrez bounced back to take a top-three finish with a major decision win in the third-place bout. Cassella fell 7-0 in the 165-pound semifinals, before earning a decision win in his third-place bout to also earn a top-three finish. Day was defeated in the 285-pound quarterfinals but earned two decision wins in the consolation bracket to take home a top-five finish at the EIWA’s for a second straight year. Nolan was also defeated in the quarterfinals but earned two wins in the 184-pound consolation bracket to finish sixth for the weekend.

“They did a great job,” Borshoff said. “The weight classes are brutal. The EIWA Championships is just a really incredible event [with] tons of nationally ranked athletes competing for spots in the championships. I’m proud of those guys. I’m hoping for a better weekend in a couple weeks, but they did the job that they needed to do to keep their seasons alive, and we get a fresh start out at the NCAA championships.”

Senior Micah Roes earned a seventh-place finish in the 133-pound bracket, recording his second career podium finish at the EIWA championships. After an early defeat, Roes bounced back in the consolation bracket with an upset win over his third-seeded opponent from Penn, ranked 12th in the nation.

“[Roes] had a good season,” Borshoff said. “He moved up a weight class this year. [Against] the wrestler from Penn, ranked 12th in the country, [Roes] dominated that match. It wasn’t even really that competitive. Looking forward to having [Roes] back again next year.”

Redshirt sophomore Nate Lucier and senior Dimitri Gamkrelidze earned their first career podium finishes at the EIWAs, both finishing eighth in their respective 141 and 174-pound brackets. Freshman Carson Wagner earned his first career victory at the conference tournament as the eleventh seed, upsetting his sixth-seeded opponent from Columbia before falling in the quarterfinals.

“I’m happy for those guys,” Borshoff said. “I think [Lucier] did a good job in some of his matches. I’m glad that he was able to get on the podium. [Gamkrelidze] has had a really incredible career for us. He didn’t start wrestling until his senior year of high school, [and] he’s made enormous strides over his career. I’m glad those guys were able to place. [Wagner] had lost to that guy earlier in the season. That guy was a returning national qualifier, [and] a very tough wrestler. It was awesome to watch [Wagner] go out and win that match.”

DePrez was presented with the John Fletcher Memorial Award for earning the most team points at the EIWA Championships throughout his career. His bid to this year’s NCAA tournament marked the fifth time DePrez has competed at the National Championships, setting a program record for Binghamton at the Division I level.

“We’ve never had anyone receive that award before,” Borshoff said. “[It’s a] pretty special thing for [DePrez] that really defines his career contribution at that [EIWA’s] event. [DePrez’s] the best. He’s a great teammate [and] a great leader … It can’t be overstated how much of an impact [DePrez] and his family have had on Binghamton wrestling over the past decade, starting with his older brothers.”

The final stop for the Bearcats will be at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, which run from Thursday, March 21 to Saturday, March 23. Cassella, Nolan, DePrez and Day’s quest for an NCAA title will take place at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.