The Crimson wrestling team, fresh from a mediocre season, charges like the Light Brigade into the heavy cannon at Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships at Franklin and Marshall, starting today.
Most of Coach Bob Pickett's nine-man squad isn't likely to see much action after today's first two rounds. The basic role of the eight Ivy teams in the sixteen-team tournament is to serve as early round cannon-fodder for the big guns--Pitt, Penn State, Lehigh, Syracuse, and Navy.
Only a couple of Harvard wrestlers are likely to get through the first day's competition and have a shot at a place. Sophomore Howie Durfee, sporting a 7-2-1 record, might do well in an unusually weak 127-pound class. Navy's undefeated Wayne Hicks is a solid favorite at the weight, but if Durfee is in shape for the rugged two-match-a-day tournament grind, he could give anyone else a match.
Captain Fred Pereire, after a hot start that saw him take a second place against most of the best Eastern competion in the Coast Guard tournament, ran into a streak of injuries to wind up with a 6-2 record. His injured rib may still cause him trouble this week.
At Franklin and Marshall, Pereira will be wrestling at 177, ten pounds above the weight he wrestled in the earlier tournament. The heavier weight class is a tough one--Navy's Gerry Franzen and Pitt's Ken Barr top a packed field.
Last year only Pereirs, who took a seventh place, and Ben Brooks, who won one match, scored points for the Crimson. If anyone beyond Durfee and Pereira scores this year, it's likely to be Brooks again.
But Brooks is entering the 191-pound class, a spot above his natural weight of 177. Wrestling at the heavier weight this year he compiled a so-so 5-2-1 record, but he'll be entering a class weakened by an injury to defending champion Don Rader of Rutgers.
147-pounder Brian Conley (5-4-1), light-weight Pete Keeler (4-2-1), and Heavy-weight Tack Chace (5-5) might have a