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Caleb Smith
Caleb Smith won in the 125 pound weight class by an 8-3 decision.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Wrestling Downs Binghamton

Ranked No. 24 in the nation, App State Wrestling showed its strength and depth with a 29-10 home win Sunday against a Binghamton team that’s come close to knocking off several top-30 opponents this season.

The Mountaineers (4-1) won the first seven matches to claim a 23-0 lead and finished with eight victories among the 10 weight classes. Binghamton (2-7) traveled south to Chattanooga, Tenn., last weekend for the Southern Scuffle, where it had three wrestlers place, then headed to Raleigh for a Friday dual at No. 6 NC State before coming to Varsity Gym.

Three of the Bearcats’ other losses were close duals against No. 9 Minnesota, No. 16 North Dakota State and No. 26 Indiana, so there was no danger of looking ahead to Friday’s home dual against No. 8 Virginia Tech for App State.

The Mountaineers, at No. 24 in the NWCA Coaches Poll and as high as No. 20 (from Win Magazine), go into the ranked showdown against Virginia Tech with four straight dual wins. Tickets for Friday’s dual at 7 p.m. in Varsity Gym can be purchased with a cost of $20 for adults and $7 for youth.

Will Miller stood out Sunday with his 10-0 major decision at 174 pounds against Sam DePrez, who entered 2023 with a national ranking of No. 25 in his weight class. Jon Jon Millner also earned a bonus point with a 16-3 major decision at 149, and a forfeit at 197 allowed Carson Floyd to produce six points for the Mountaineers.

App State’s five wins by decision came from Caleb Smith (11-9 at 125), Sean Carter (10-5 at 133), Heath Gonyer (4-1 at 141), Tommy Askey (5-2 at 157) and Will Formato (2-0 at 165). Binghamton’s victories resulted from wins by top-25 wrestlers Jacob Nolan at 184 and Cory Day in the heavyweight division — the Bearcats were missing two-time All-American Lou DePrez at 197 because of an injury.

Miller used a takedown and four-point near fall in the last 20 seconds of the first period to seize control against Sam DePrez. Miller rode out the second period and added a takedown with 1:18 left in the third before finishing on top.

The most dramatic match occurred in the opener, as Anthony Sobotker used a takedown and four-point near fall to move ahead 6-0 in the first minute against Smith, who avoided deeper trouble from his back and executed a reversal. He stayed on top long enough to build his riding time to 1:47 before an escape enabled Sotbotker to lead 7-3 heading to the second period.

After a Smith escape, he followed a second stall against Sobotker with a takedown and finished the period on top to trail just 7-6 (with 2:09 of riding time on his side) going into the third period. With Sobotker getting an escape early in the third, Smith produced a takedown with 1:21 left to essentially take a 9-8 lead (counting the clinched riding time).

Sobotker got a timely escape with five seconds left to potentially force overtime, but Smith responded with another takedown three seconds later to clinch a victory right before the buzzer sounded.

Carter had a late 8-3 lead (with ample riding time) when he cut his opponent seeking a takedown to push his victory into bonus-point range, but a takedown from Ivan Garcia contributed to a 10-5 final score.

Gonyer rode out the second period and followed a conceded escape by registering a takedown with 1:22 left in his 4-1 win against Nate Lucier. Two matches later, at 157, matching escapes had the score tied at 1-all in the third before Askey got a takedown with 1:06 left and then added another one in the closing seconds against Fin Nadeau.

Formato earned an escape in the second period and rode out the third period in his shutout of Carter Baer.

No. 24 App State 29, Binghamton 10

125: #22 Caleb Smith (APP) def. Anthony Sobotker (BU), 11-9 dec.
133: #22 Sean Carter (APP) def. Ivan Garcia (BU), 10-5 dec.
141: Heath Gonyer (APP) def. Nate Lucier (BU), 4-1 dec.
149: #7 Jon Jon Millner (APP) def. Michael Zarif (BU), 16-3 maj. dec.
157: #31 Tommy Askey (APP) def. Fin Nadeau (BU), 5-2 dec.
165: #26 Will Formato (APP) def. Carter Baer (BU), 2-0 dec.
174: #32 Will Miller (APP) def. Sam DePrez (BU), 10-0 maj. dec.
184: #23 Jacob Nolan (BU) def. Luke Uliano (APP), 8-0 maj. dec.
197: Carson Floyd (APP) won by forfeit
Hwt: #21 Cory Day (BU) def. Mason Fiscella (APP), fall (6:34)