Senior Cody Reed is headed for the NCAA Championship after finishing second in the 197-pound weight class at the EIWA tournament in Philadelphia.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
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Senior 197-pound Cody Reed took home runner-up honors to pace Binghamton wrestling at the EIWA Championship, which concluded March 9 at The Palestra on campus at University of Pennsylvania.
The Bearcats had five placewinners in their inaugural appearance at the championship and finished in a tie for seventh out of 18 teams. Reed and junior 125-pound David White (4th place) earned berths to the upcoming NCAA Championship. Junior heavyweight Tyler Deuel (6th place) will await a possible NCAA at-large berth when those spots are announced March 12.
“I think we did what we came to do,” head coach Matt Dernlan said. “We peaked at the right time. We had our best performance of the year hands down and we put ourselves in a lot of good positions to qualify for the NCAA tournament. All in all I think it was a great weekend. Heading into the tournament we projected 14th and we ended up seventh, so that was a great effort. The individuals who secured spots went out and took them. We didn’t have perfect performances throughout the lineup but we outperformed ourselves in the majority of the weight classes. When all your guys wrestled above their seed you know you did a good thing.
“We talk about putting people on notice. We didn’t come her to just participate or be the team in the bleachers cheering people on. We’re coming in with the intent to win this conference tournament and become a top-five team in the country.”
Competing for the first time at the prestigious EIWA tournament, Reed (27-10) came within a whisker of becoming the program’s first champion when his late takedown gave him a 4-3 lead over second-seeded Jace Bennett of Cornell in the title bout. But with Reed on top and time running out, Bennett got a reversal with the closing seconds left to grab a 5-4 win.
On March 9, Reed posted a 5-2 decision over ninth-seeded Bryce Barnes (Army) in the semifinals. In the title match against Bennett, who is No. 19 in the latest NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, the two wrestlers were knotted at 2-2 heading to the third period. A Bennett escape gave him the edge before Reed countered with his late takedown.
“Cody had an incredible weekend,” Dernlan said. “He is wrestling amazing ... hands down the best of his career. That one second is probably gonna stick with him for a long time (in the final) ... but I will tell you what, he lost to Bennett by large margins twice and to be up with one second to go ... it’s tough. However, we’re moving on and he’s peaking right now. He’s could do big things at NCAA’s.”
White posted a 10-2 major decision over Chris McGinley of Boston University in his first match on Maerch 9 to punch his NCAA ticket. He then got a forfeit win in the consolation semifinals before being pinned in the third-place match. White secured one of six bids allocated to the EIWA at 125 pounds.
Deuel dropped his last two matches and slipped to sixth after starting the day with a 15-2 major decision over the No. 7 seed. His final loss was a narrow 8-7 setback to fifth-seeded Jacob Aiken-Phillips of Cornell.
Junior 184-pound Caleb Wallace and sophomore 165-pound Vincent Grella each placed eighth.