Binghamton's Garcia and Schneider punch tickets to NCAA Championships
March 04, 2018


HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The Binghamton wrestling team placed five wrestlers at the 2018 EIWA Championships Sunday afternoon, highlighted by a second place finish by redshirt sophomore Frankie Garcia at 149 pounds. With his finish, Garcia joins senior Steven Schneider, as the two earned themselves automatic bids to the 2018 NCAA Championships. Binghamton finished in seventh place overall out of 16 teams with 65.5 points, marking the highest finish in program history. As a team, head coach Kyle Borshoff's squad was also awarded the sportsmanship award, voted on by referees for the wrestlers respect and demeanor on the mats.

"The EIWA's are a great event every year," Borshoff said. "We're the second biggest conference in the country, and we take the second most bids behind the B1G for the NCAA Championships. You always know you're going to get some good matchups when you're here, and we showed up and competed. Having five guys place at their weights, with two guaranteed bids for Cleveland and finishing the highest we ever have in program history, that's exciting. I'm really proud of these guys for the fight they showed on the mats this weekend and for what this means for us moving forward."

No. 13 Schneider finished up his final EIWA tournament placing third at 184 pounds, the highest in his career, and becoming a four time EIWA place winner. Schneider also locked in his automatic bid to the NCAA's with a win in the consolation of four, heading to the big dance for the third consecutive year. In day two of the tournament, Schneider earned wins over Penn's Joe Heyob (2-1), Brown's Cj LaFragola (1-0) and a win by forfeit to Navy's Michael Coleman to earn his place on the podium.

Garcia rolled through the 149 pound bracket, knocking off three seeded opponents to wrestle in the championship finals. In his semifinal match against Lehigh's No. 3 Cortlandt Schuyler, Garcia hung on through the third period to take a 7-4 victory, punching his ticket to the NCAA tournament for the first time in his career. The win advanced him to the finals, where he went up against Princeton's Matt Kolodzik. Garcia scrapped for two takedowns and two escapes, but Kolodzik walked away with the 13-6 victory.

At 125 pounds, redshirt junior Joe Nelson took fifth place overall. After falling 14-1 to Lehigh's Darian Cruz in the semifinals, Nelson matched up against American's Gage Curry in wrestlebacks. Trailing 4-3 in the 3rd period, Nelson escaped as the time ran out to tie the score and force sudden victory. Curry got the jump on Nelson at the whistle, earning a takedown and a 6-4 victory. With a forfeit from Army's No. 2 Trey Chalifoux, Nelson got his hand-raised for a fifth place finish, placing at the EIWA's for the first time in his career.

Redshirt senior Jake Nicholson had an impressive run through the 133 pound bracket, rolling through consolations on his way to the fifth place match. After taking an 8-1 win over Bucknell's Campbell in the consolation quarterfinals, Nicholson got set to wrestle Drexel's No. 1 Austin DeSanto. Nicholson defaulted due to injury in the second period and medical forfeited in the fifth place match, taking sixth place overall at 133 pounds.

Redshirt sophomore Tristan Rifanburg locked in an eighth place finish at 157 pounds, placing at the EIWA Championships for the second year in a row. Rifanburg battled his way through the EIWA's, but fell short in two matchups today against seeded wrestlers to earn his place on the podium.

Garcia and Schneider get set to head to the 2018 NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. The tournament will take place March 16-17 at the Quicken Loans Arena.