Session I NCAA Recap: Cornell Sends Three, Binghamton and Hofstra Both Advance Two to the Round of 16

After Session I of the 2013 NCAA Championships in Des Moines,  a number of New York wrestlers remain in the championship bracket.  A few will meet in the Round of 16, with Cornell’s top-seeded Kyle Dake taking on Indiana’s Ryan LeBlanc, a former Section 3 star, at 165 pounds.

Hofstra’s Steve Bonanno defeated Air Force’s #10 seed Josh Martinez in one of the “upsets” in favor of New York wrestlers.  On the other end of upsets were a pair of 2012 All-Americans, who both fell in overtime.  Binghamton’s Donnie Vinson, the number three seed at 149, dropped a bout to American’s Kevin Tao while Cornell’s Mike Nevinger was upended by Virginia Tech’s Zach Niebert.

Here is a team-by-team Session I recap for each of the six New York colleges as well as for former New York high schoolers.


Daniel Young gave returning NCAA finalist Dylan Ness a major scare in Round 1, taking the lead with a reversal early in the third and going over a minute of riding time.  However, the Golden Gopher responded with a late takedown and erased the RT advantage, taking a 4-2 victory.  Paul Hancock, Connor Hanafee and Bryce Barnes will also get to work in the consolation brackets.  Barnes notched a takedown against Bloomsburg’s Richard Perry as time expired in the third period to tie the bout at 5, however, Perry picked up two of his own in the sudden victory session to get the win.

Army’s next matches


141: Connor Hanafee vs. Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia)

149: Daniel Young vs. Andrew Alton (Penn State)

165: Paul Hancock vs. Tyler Wilps (Pitt)

197: Bryce Barnes vs. Derrick Borlie (Virginia Tech)



We all know Donnie Vinson can wrestle back really well after he captured seven straight victories at the NCAAs in 2012 to take the bronze.  He’ll have to do the same again this time, as he lost a match in the tiebreaker to American’s Kevin Tao after handling Ohio State’s Ian Paddock in the pigtail round.  Joining him in the consolations will be 184-pounder Cody Reed, who lost by decision to sixth-seeded Ryan Loder of Northern Iowa.

Victorious in their first bouts were 133-pounder Derek Steeley who prevailed over Fox Lane High’s Sam Speno of North Carolina State and 197-pounder Nate Schiedel, who dominated Conner Hartmann of Duke in a 10-1 major.

Binghamton’s next matches

Championship Bracket:

133: Derek Steeley vs. (4) AJ Schopp (Edinboro)

197: (7) Nate Schiedel vs. (10) Scott Schiller, Minnesota


149: (3) Donnie Vinson vs. Tyler Bedelyon (Clarion)

184: Cody Reed vs. Ophir Bernstein (Brown)



Cannon, Photo by BV

John-Martin Cannon won a hard-fought 5-4 clash with 12th seeded Mathew Miller of Navy, with riding time the difference.  His teammates similarly faced tough draws, with Blake Roulo and Mark Lewandowski dropping their initial bouts to the seventh and third seeds, respectively (Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State and Peter Yates of Virginia Tech).  Max Soria was upended in the pigtail round by Penn’s Mark Rappo.

Buffalo’s next matches

Championship Bracket:

174: John-Martin Cannon vs. (5) Josh Asper, Maryland


125: Max Soria vs. Eddie Klimara (Oklahoma State)

149: Blake Roulo vs. Josh Roosa (Bloomsburg)

165: Mark Lewandowski vs. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan)/Austin Wilson (Nebraska)



Steve Santos, a Round of 12 finisher a year ago, began with a fall in his opening match against UTC’s Alex Hudson.  It was a tough battle, with Santos falling behind early before taking control in the third period.  Jake O’Hara dropped his pigtail bout to Penn State’s Dylan Alton while Matt Bystol and Josh Houldsworth lost to seeded wrestlers Cody Brewer and Cody Yohn, respectively.  Jon Fausey of Virginia picked up a 3-0 victory over Stephen West of the Lions at 174.

Columbia’s next matches

Championship Bracket:

149: Steve Santos vs. (12) Eric Grajales (Michigan)


133: Matt Bystol vs. Anthony Elias (Davidson)

157: Jake O’Hara vs. Ryan Watts (Michigan St)

165: Josh Houldsworth vs. Ramon Santiago (Rider)

174: Stephen West vs. Cody Weishoff (Oregon State)



Defending national champions Kyle Dake (165) and Steve Bosak (184) began the day with shutouts, with Dake topping Ohio State’s Mark Martin 3-0 and Bosak breezing past Ty Vinson of Oregon State 12-0.  Nahshon Garrett was also dominant, with a 10-1 major decision over Campbell’s Eric Montoya in his first-ever NCAA action.  The Big Red’s other seeded wrestler, Mike Nevinger, battled Virginia Tech’s Zach Niebert in a low scoring affair won by the Hokie 3-1 on a reversal in the overtime.  He’ll look to go on a winning streak in the wrestlebacks as he did in 2012, as will 149-pounder Chris Villalonga, 197-pounder Jace Bennett and heavyweight Stryker Lane.

Cornell’s next matches

Championship Bracket:

125: Nahshon Garrett vs. Evan Silver (Stanford)

165: Kyle Dake vs. Ryan LeBlanc (Indiana)

184: Steve Bosak vs. Mason Bailey (Navy)


141: (11) Mike Nevinger vs. Anthony Salupo (Lehigh)

149: Chris Villalonga vs. Ian Paddock (Ohio State)/David Habat (Edinboro)

197: Jace Bennett vs. Andrew Campolattano (Ohio State)

285: Stryker Lane vs. Blake Herrin (American)



Bonanno, Photo by BV

Returning All-American Steve Bonanno got off to another good start at the NCAA tournament, decisively defeating #10 seed Josh Martinez of Air Force in Round 1.  The Pride wrestler trailed early but kept the pace high and moved ahead 8-2 after the second stanza with some late back points.  He finished with a 9-2 decision.  Joining Bonanno as a first round winner was 141-pounder Luke Vaith, who topped West Virginia’s Nathan Pennesi.  Jamie Franco was edged 3-2 at 133 pounds by Pittsburgh’s Shelton Mack.

Hofstra’s next matches

Championship Bracket:

125: Steve Bonanno vs. (7) Nathan Kraisser (North Carolina)

141: Luke Vaith vs. (4) Mitchell Port (Edinboro)


133: Jamie Franco vs. Brandon Gambucci (Duke)/Devon Lotito (Cal Poly)


Additional NY High School Wrestlers

Winning their first round bouts were: Billy Watterson (John Jay HS, Brown), Steven Keith (Shoreham Wading River HS, Harvard), Josh Veltre (Greece Olympia HS, Bloomsburg) and Ryan LeBlanc (Morrisville Eaton, Indiana).

Next Matches, Championship Round

125: Billy Watterson (Brown) vs. (2) Jesse Delgado (Illinois)

141: Steven Keith (Harvard) vs. Hunter Stieber (Ohio State)

165: (9) Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg) vs. (8) Nick Sulzer (Virginia)

165: Ryan LeBlanc (Indiana) vs. (1) Kyle Dake, (Cornell)


133: Nick Wilcox (Bloomsburg) vs. Daryl Thomas (Illinois)

133: Sam Speno (North Carolina State) vs. Rossi Bruno (Michigan)

133: Jimmy Morris (Rider) vs. Mackenzie McGuire (Kent State)

149: Ian Paddock (Ohio State) vs. David Habat (Edinboro)

165: John Greisheimer (Edinboro) vs. Pierce Harger (Northwestern)

197: Christian Boley (Maryland) vs. Conner Hartmann (Duke)

285: Steven Graziano (Penn) vs. Evan Knutson (North Dakota St)



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