Des Moines, IA (WBNG Binghamton)
Binghamton senior 149-pound Donnie Vinson came up one win short in his bid for repeat All-America honors as the last of the Bearcats’ four-man contingent was eliminated in Friday evening’s session of the NCAA Championship at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Vinson, the No. 3 seed, suffered a pair of tough one-point losses and saw his record-breaking career come to a close.
Vinson was BU’s last remaining entry and advanced to the round of 12 with a resounding 12-0 major decision over 12th-seeded Eric Grajales of Michigan Friday afternoon. But needing a fourth straight win to gain All-America honors, Vinson surrendered a takedown with 15 seconds remaining and lost a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to seventh-ranked Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State. After a scoreless first period, Vinson escaped in the second to push ahead 1-0. But in a battle between reigning All-Americans, Sakaguchi prevailed in the closing seconds to steal the win.
Vinson went 4-2 in the championship and finished his stellar four-year career with a school-record 132 wins (132-27). He completed his final collegiate season with a 33-3 record. Last season, he went 7-1 at the NCAA Championship to record the highest finish (3rd) of any BU wrestler at the Division I national tournament. He won 12 NCAA matches in his four years of participation.
Senior 197-pound Nate Schiedel had his final season come to a close in Friday’s first session. Schiedel, the No. 7 seed, began the day with a third-period pin over unseeded Nikolas Brown of Chattanooga. But he got caught in a headlock against unseeded Nathan Burak of Iowa in his second match and suffered a first-period fall. Schiedel went 2-2 in the championship and completed his elite collegiate career with a 119-32 record. A four-time NCAA qualifier, Schiedel moved into third place on BU’s career wins list, behind only Vinson and Josh Patterson (123).
Senior 133-pound Derek Steeley went 1-2 in his debut at the NCAA Championship. Steeley won his opening match on Thursday but dropped back-to-back matches, including a 13-5 major decision at the hands of unseeded Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland on Friday. Steeley began his tournament with an 11-6 win over Sam Speno of NC State on Thursday. An inspirational qualifier who wasn’t at 100 percent after a hamstring injury, Steeley won 16 matches in his third and final season at Binghamton.
Junior 184-pound Cody Reed pushed sixth-seeded Ryan Loder of Northern Iowa to late in the third period in his opening 4-0 loss but then was eliminated Thursday night with a major decision against unseeded Ophir Bernstein of Brown. Reed, who won 18 matches this season, will be the lone BU qualifier to return for the 2013-14 season. He will bring 65 career wins to the mat in November.
The Bearcats went 7-8 at the championship, accumulated 10 points and currently are tied for 31st place in the team standings.
(Courtesy: BU Athletics)