Harvard's varsity wrestling team advanced seven of ten wrestlers through the opening round of competition at the Eastern Intercollegiates yesterday. But all seven Crimson wrestlers lost in the quarterfinals in last night's bouts.
Harvard still has a good chance to improve upon its tenth place finish in the team competition last year. The Crimson already has eight match points after two rounds, and several Harvard wrestlers could finish as high as third after consolation matches are completed.
Dan Blakinger (118) and Ritchie Starr (177) suffered the most disappointing defeats. Blakinger outwrestled the tournament's second-seed. Penn State's Teagarten, but got caught in one five point move and lost, 5-1.
"I wrestled well," Blakinger said, "but I clung too closely to him. I should have let him escape that one time, but I fought it and got caught in a near-pin by a hip roll."
Blakinger won his first consolation round last night and could place third if he beats a quarterfinalist and semifinalist loser tomorrow.
Starr won a close opening bout, 4-3, and then fought a slow-paced quarterfinal match with Navy's Dave Jones, the third-seed. There were no takedowns in the dull match, and Jones won, 1-0, in the second overtime period when he escaped successfully and rode Starr for the entire third period.
Several Crimson wrestlers lost to top-seeded entrants. At 126, freshman Carl Biello wrestled well but lost by ten points to Bill Black of Franklin & Marshall, the class's top-seed. At 134, Josh Henson pinned his first opponent, but was beaten by Navy's Jim Tolk.
Jerry Kahrilas (142) lost in the second round to Penn State's Bob Snyder, the tournament's second-seed. Kahrilas's knees are bothering him and he may drop out of further competition.
Two Crimson wrestlers lost in the opening round to the weight class's top-seeded performer. Boris Holmes (150) and Angelo Mareno (unlimited) qualify, therefore, for consolation competition for third place.
Harvard's only other entrants, Bruce Johnson (167) and Dave Scanlon (190), won their opening bouts but were eliminated in the quarterfinals.