Wrestling advances pair to NCAA Championship
Steve Schneider and Jack McKeever of the Binghamton wrestling team advanced to the NCAA Championships Sunday, as both won key Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships matches to secure their spots at NCAAs.
Schneider and McKeever became the ninth and tenth Bearcats to qualify for nationals in Coach Matt Dernlan’s four-year tenure. BU has now had two qualifiers in each of the last three seasons. McKeever advanced to the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year, while Schneider is making his first appearance. NCAAs will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City March 17-19.
“174 and 184 are by far the deepest weight classes in the second-toughest conference in the nation,” said Dernlan. “Both guys are running with the best in the nation. We’re excited for their opportunity two weeks from now (at NCAAs).”
Indoor track & field teams finish strong at America East Championships
The Binghamton track & field program continues its run of excellence at the America East Indoor Championships.
For the eighth time in nine seasons, the Bearcat men’s squad earned runner up honors. The women’s squad, meanwhile, was third overall, marking its fourth straight top-three performance. The two-day meet, which concluded Saturday evening, was held at the Ocean Breeze Track & Field Complex.
“It was a fantastic performance by the men and women this weekend,” head coach Mike Thompson said. “Both sides overachieved their projected point totals. It was one of the best conference meets we’ve had in many years.”
Women’s basketball coach Cimino named America East Coach of Year, James chosen as top defender
Second-year head coach Linda Cimino has been named the America East Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year and sophomore forward Alyssa James has been chosen as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. The announcements were made at the conference’s annual awards banquet, which was held Friday evening at the Events Center.
Cimino and James, who was also named third-team all-conference, were far from the only Binghamton personnel to collect awards. Sophomore guard Imani Watkins was named second-team all-conference. Senior Kim Albrecht joined James on the third team and was also selected to the America East’s All-Academic Team. Freshman guard Rebecca Carmody, meanwhile, was named to the conference’s All-Rookie Team.
Men’s basketball player Rodriguez named all-conference
Sophomore forward Willie Rodriguez has been named to the America East all-conference team, the league announced Monday afternoon. Rodriguez was slotted on the third team one year after earning All-Rookie honors. He becomes the program’s 20th all-conference selection.
Binghamton’s leading scorer and rebounder, Rodriguez ranks fourth in the conference in scoring (15.0 ppg.) and seventh in rebounding (6.7 rpg.). He will finish in the top-10 in the America East in scoring and rebounding for the second straight year.
“It’s nice to see Willie recognized by the other coaches in the conference,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “He certainly deserved to be an all-conference selection.”
Women’s soccer hires former Syracuse assistant Bhattacharjee to lead program
Neel Bhattacharjee was introduced as Binghamton University’s new women’s soccer coach at a press conference Thursday afternoon. Bhattacharjee, an experienced Division I coach, began his new position earlier this week.
Bhattacharjee joins BU after assistant coach stints at Syracuse, Boston College, and George Washington. He spoke with local media yesterday.
“One thing that’s really exciting is that I feel like this is an opportunity where there is growth that can be had, but this isn’t a five- to six-year project,” said Bhattacharjee. “I fully expect that we’ll be competing for America East championships in the not-too-distant future.”
Women’s soccer hires assistant coach Schram
Binghamton women’s soccer coach Neel Bhattacharjee has filled out his staff with a marquee hire - former Penn State and U.S. U20 National Team member Taylor Schram, who will join the program as an assistant coach.
Bhattacharjee, who was named Binghamton’s head coach in January, gains a “rising star” in the coaching ranks and one with decorated playing credentials.
Schram was a captain and four-year starter at Penn State, where she helped lead the Nittany Lions to four straight NCAA berths, highlighted by a national runnerup finish in 2012. She was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and a first team Academic All-American. Schram also earned a spot on the U20 National Team and competed at the 2012 FIFA U20 World Cup in Tokyo, helping the U.S. win a gold medal.
Men’s tennis hires assistant coach Hignett
Binghamton men’s tennis coach Nick Zieziula has added James Hignett as an assistant coach. Hignett was a four-year standout at University of New Mexico and graduated last spring after guiding the Lobos to the NCAA tournament.
“This is a big step forward for our program and James is a great fit for this position,” Zieziula said. “He demonstrated great leadership at a top-ranked program and he is eager to get his collegiate coaching career started. He brings a wealth of experience as a player as a top-ranked junior, a ranked doubles player in college and a key part of getting New Mexico up to top 40 in the country.”
A native of Cardiff, Wales, Hignett produced an elite junior career, winning both the U16 and U18 Great Britain indoor national titles. He then earned a Top 30 ranking in Open Men’s in 2011.