NEW HAVEN, March 9--One of Harvard athletics strangest, yet most powerful jinxes ended this afternoon, as the varsity wrestling team combined 22 straight years of frustration with top performances all down the lineup to overwhelm Yale, 21 to 8.
The win gave the varsity undisputed possession of fourth place in the Ivy Wrestling League, and closed its season with a six wins, four losses record.
Not since 1935 had a varsity wrestling team topped the Elis, but the Yale heritage never appeared, as the Crimson jumped to a quick 11 to 0 advantage, on decisions by Dave Skeels at 123, Paul Striker at 130, and a pin by Bob Crook at 137. Yale never got back into contention.
Both Skeels and Striker looked impressive, forcing the action throughout most of their matches, and clearly out classing their Eli opponents. Skeels downed Phil Schrefer, 3 to 0, while Striker decisioned Bob Hamada 12 to 3, in the most lopsided bout of the day.
In the 137-pound match, Eli Ted Reese, reportedly down from the 157-pound division, controlled Crook for much of the second period, although Crook several times nearly escaped. With startling rapidity, Crook reversed his man and pinned him with a body press, all within five seconds.
Captain Bob Gilmor, at 177, the only senior on the Crimson team, gained the decision which clinched the momentous victory. With the score 13 to 8, in favor of the varsity, Gilmor completely out classed Pete Wight, winning the decision, 9 to 3.
Possibly the most unexpected development of the meet came at the heavy weight division, with the verdict already settled. Al Culbert calmly took down Eli Mike Schoettle and pinned him with a half-nelson and a crotch with only 2:18 gone in the first period. The rapidity and decisiveness of Culbert's pin over the Yale standout left the Elis stunned.
At 167, Bob Foster ended his season unbeaten as he and Eli Jack Kohr drew, 4 to 4. Foster's points came on a take down and two escapes, while Kohr scored a reversal, an escape, and a minute, 20 second time advantage.
Even the two Yale wins were hardly decisive. Both were 4 to 3 decisions gained on scant time advantage. Joe Noble at 147 held Eli captain Phil Hepner even, but Hepner escaped from the bottom position faster than did Noble, and picked up a minute, 35 second time advantage.
At 157 the varsity's Jack Eastling wrestled by far his best match of the season, only to lose to Eli star Steve Jackson, on Jackson's minute, 24 second advantage.
In the preliminary, the Yale freshmen put together two pins, two decisions, and a draw to down the Yardlings, 18 to 11.