Wrestlers Nipped by Big Red; League Title Hopes Shattered
The Harvard wrestling team watched a season of dreams vaporize last night at the hands of Cornell, losing in a heartbreaker, 21-20. Before meeting the Big Red in Ithaca the wrestles were well on their way to a league title with a 2-0 record in the Ivies and one of the strongest teams in years.
Followers of Harvard wrestling have had little to cheer about in recent years, watching their learn run up miserable League records, but this year was different; this year the patters would turn. Wins against Cornell and Columbia (today's match) would have secured the Crimson's first Ivy League title ever. But as it is the team will probably have to wait another year.
According to a disappointed Coach Johnny Let, the Cornell match was characterized by satisfying wins, disconcerting leases, and some hard luck. Co-captain Paul Widerman started Harvard off in the right direction with a 15-1 decision in the first match, but the team quickly lit into some strong headwinds. A wine 7-7 tie between Harvard's Rick Beller and Cornell's Rick Arayo and a Cornell decision in the 134 Ib, weight class led up to two decisive matches at 142 and 150 Ibs.
The Big Red One
Lee tried a new strategy for this match, juggling Fritz Campbell and Andy McNerney in the middle weight classes in an attempt to secure two wins. The strategy backfired as McNerney, wrestling up one weight class from his accustomed 142 Ib, division, scored a superior decision in the 150 Ib, class, but Fritz Campbell lost the most frustrating bout of the match to Cornell's Phil Heflin, 4-3.
Mark Cooley also lost a close-one, suffering a last moment takedown at the hands of Bob Wirth in the 177 Ib, class. In the unlimited the weight match. Jim Phills could have tied the meet with a pin over Bob Suren in the final match. Phills fought to an overpowering victory over Suren, but failed to score the requisite fall. Phills did, in fact, pin Suren, but he did so the buzzer sounded, negating the pin and turning the Crimson dream into a nightmare.