Harvard's varsity wrestling team ended its season yesterday as it had begun the year last fall: with promising hopes but final defeat. The Crimson built an early 13-3 lead against visiting Yale, only to watch the Bulldogs relentlessly rally for a 22-16 triumph.
Actually, the outcome of the match was never in doubt, for even after four bouts and a 9-3 lead it was obvious that Harvard was not gaining a big enough lead to offset Yale's advantage in the upper weight classes.
The Crimson finished its season with a 7-5-2 record and a fifth place, 2-3-1, finish in the Ivy League. Yale's victory clinched third-place for the Bulldogs and gave the Eli the number one ranking in New England.
The line-up Saturday indicated the low morale for the match. Both Yale and Harvard had failed to make weight in most classes, and each squad moved its line-up ahead one notch.
Yale's unbalanced squad resembled the past Harvard teams that have had to rally from deep deficits for the past two years. The Bulldogs sacrificed a forfelt at 118 and did not use their top 126 wrestler against Dan Blakinger. The Crimson sophomore completed a fine season with an easy decision.
At 134, however, Harvard suffered a serious setback when Carl Biello lost a controversial 5-3 decision. The Crimson freshman led 3-2 in the closing moments despite a questionable stalling penalty. But Biello stopped wrestling once when he thought he was off the mat, and the Yale wrestler grabbed one leg and was awarded a two-point take-down as the whistle blew.
Josh Henson was the Crimson's most successful wrestler. At 142, Henson had four takedowns and a near fall, and he contributed four points on a 14-3 decision.
The momentum of the match quickly turned at 150. Jerry Kahrilas, wrestling with stitches in his right hand, could not control Yale's Silverston. Kahrilas had an early lead, but was caught in a predicament in the third period and lost 11-7.
At 158, Frank Morgan battled undefeated Jeff Spendlow, and the Crimson's strategy, to avoid a pin, barely succeeded. After repeated warnings for stalling, Harvard dropped a four-point decision, 16-3.
The match was decided at 167 when Eastern intercollegiate champion Al Gaby took a 12-7 decision from Crimson captain Colin Mangrum. The crowd cheered the Harvard senior when he came out ahead, 2-1, after one period, but Mangrum had to fight to avoid a pin in the second period. A third period rally was not enought to catch Yale's three-time All-Ivy senior.
With the team score tied, Yale's heavyweights took over and provided the margin of victory.