Thursday, March 6, 2014

EIWA Championships This Weekend!

Binghamton wrestling is headed to Philadelphia for its first EIWA Championship this weekend. The 18-team event, which doubles as the NCAA qualifier, is being hosted by Penn Saturday and Sunday at The Palestra.

Head coach Matt Dernlan's 10-man squad will open competition at 10 a.m. on Saturday with 47 NCAA automatic bids on the line. The championship concludes with the finals beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Senior 197-pound Cody Reed, a two-time NCAA qualifier and reigning conference champion, begins his quest for a return to the national tournament. Reed (24-9) was ranked fourth in the latest EIWA poll and is 24th in the NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings. He has won 11 of his last 12 matches. There are seven spots allocated to EIWA wrestlers at 197 pounds.

Junior heavyweight Tyler Deuel (25-7) will also gain a top-four seed in his bracket. Deuel leads the Bearcats with 10 pins and five technical falls and is No. 23 in the latest NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings. He will be aiming for his first NCAA Championship berth. There are four qualifying berths allotted to EIWA heavyweights.

Junior 125-pound David White is also in the mix for a tournament seed. He was ranked sixth in the last EIWA poll and is No. 33 in the NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings. White (22-9) will be in the hunt for one of the six NCAA spots allocated to 125-pounders at the conference championship.

Sophomore 174-pound Jack McKeever returns to the lineup after missing five weeks with an injury. McKeever (19-10) was on the cusp of the national rankings when he went down. Junior 149-pound Joe Bonaldi, nationally-ranked for much of his sophomore season, is also expected to contend. Bonaldi (14-9) also missed considerable time this season.

The Bearcats have produced 21 NCAA qualifiers in the last four years, including four in 2012-13.

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