The loser of today's Harvard-Princeton wrestling match will be eliminated from the torrid race for the Ivy title.
Princeton, 8-2 for the season, is favored over the visiting Crimson. The Tigers, seeking their fourth consecutive Ivy championship, have already topped two squads, Franklin and Marshall and Columbia, that have dumped Harvard this season.
The Tigers have one of the top heavyweights in the country in sophomore Karl Chandler, so Harvard will need to build a substantial lead prior to the closing bout.
With five teams having only one defeat in league competition, a second loss for either Princeton or Harvard would end their hopes for an Ivy title. The Tigers have already lost to Penn, while the Crimson tied Penn but lost to Columbia.
Undefeated Yale and Penn, the two squads leading the league, meet today in Philadelphia, so a Harvard victory could push the Crimson within one match of the Ivy title.
The Crimson should have its strongest line-up of the season. Captain Colin Mangrum (158) was impressive in his bout against Springfield, his first competition in over two months. Richie Starr (177) also appears to have regained the health that took him to a high finish in the Easterns last spring.
But the crucial points of the match will be won or lost in the opening bouts. Harvard's lightweights were unable to keep up with Penn in December, and the Crimson fell into a disastrous hole that it barely climbed out of.
Coach John Lee has been pleased with the development of the squad since then, and now Dan Blakinger (118), Carl Biello (126), Josh Henson (134) and Gerry Kahrilas (142) must reward him by providing the nucleus of the Crimson's success today.