The chips finally fell into place for the Harvard wrestling team Saturday, as it put together a strong performance and knocked off Yale in New Haven, 26-18.
The grapplers, who have been frustrated all season long--losing several nip-and-tuck Ivy League contests--finished off the dual meet season with an 11-9 record that includes a 2-4 league showing.
Princeton took the Ancient Eight title with a 6-0 mark. Columbia (5-1), Cornell (4-2), Brown (3-3) and Harvard followed, with Penn and Yale lodged in the two bottom spots.
Although Yale opened up against Harvard Saturday by forfeiting the first match, the Elis brought the score to 6-4 when 126-lb. Scott Beck fell behind his opponenet and lost a disappointing 13-4 match. In the effort, Beck--who has developed into one of the Crimson's top grapplers--also lost his chance to win the Ivy League's top spot in his weight class.
Jeff Clark, at 134 pounds, easily handled his opponent, winning a technical fall.
"Jeff is peaking at just the right time. He's paced himself well," said Coach John Lee, referring to Clark's chances in the Eastern tournament scheduled for next weekend. Clark will most likely be seeded fifth in his class.
At 142 pounds, Mike Hanrahan fell behind early and lost, 6-2, and 150-lb. John Moon was also defeated--cutting the Crimson lead to 12-10.
Co-Captain Steve Farrell, whose come-from-behind heroics have highlighted Harvard matches all year long, pulled off another masterful effort, overcoming an early 4-1 deficit to pull off a 10-6 win.
"That was the meet. That won it for us," Lee said.
Kevin McGinty fought to a 7-7 tie in the 170-lb. class, and Dave Bunning dropped a close 5-4 decision, bringing the team score to 20-18 in Harvard's favor.
Heavyweight Kevin Wattles polished off both the match and the meet with a strong showing and technical fall.
THE NOTEBOOK: The grapplers travel to Lehigh next week to compete in the Eastern Invitational Tournament. Both Clark and Wattles have looked strong recently and have a shot at earning an invitation to the National Tournament later this season. The top three finishers in each weight class will keep their seasons alive. Farrell and Pete Holmes also have respectable chances for an invitation...Next week's lineup will be the same as Saturday's, except for Jerry Greenberg returning to the line up at 150 pounds. Greenberg sat out the Yale meet with a bad knee...Both 118-lb. Mike Meade and 190-lb. Kelly Flynn are the only two original starters who will remain on the injured list. Steve Fabry will continue to fill in for Meade, and Bunning will remain at 190 pounds.