Facing a 10-8 deficit after four matches, the Harvard wrestling team rallied for four consecutive wins en route to a 20-16 win over Yale Saturday in its final regular-season match.
One hundred Malkin Athletic Center fans saw the Crimson--which captured six of the 10 matches on the afternoon--finish the season with a 2-4 mark in the Ivy League and 11-8 overall. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-5 Ivy, 3-14 overall.
The momentum swung back and forth over the first four matches, as the Crimson and the Elis alternated wins.
In the first bout, Crimson wrestler Joel San Pedro (118-lb.), earned his team a five-point victory with a 16-3 drubbing of Dave Nicholas.
Harvard's 5-0 advantage shrunk to 5-4 when Yale grappler Charles Lee bested Courtney Henry, 12-4, in the 126-lb. bout, but the Crimson's Jeff Pelletier (134-lb.) notched two takedowns of Paul Jaskot in the opening period to post a 4-2 victory.
Yale, in response, took a 10-8 lead when Dave Wermuth, at 142 lbs., swamped Chris Thorne, 20-4, in a technical fall.
But the Bulldogs' point total remained stagnant over the next four matches, as Crimson grapplers John Freeman, Peter Holmes, Kevin McGinty, and Steve Farrell notched consecutive victories to built up a 20-10 Harvard lead.
The Crimson foursome compiled 28 points in their 28 minutes of action, surrendered only 10, and suffered no takedowns in the process.
Freeman (150-lb.) began the rally with an 8-2 defeat of his opponent, and Holmes--who finished the season undefeated in Ivy League action--followed his teammate with a 5-1 triumph over Leo Kostelnik.
McGinty increased the lead by capturing a thrilling 7-5 win over Dave Gunderson at 167.
Trailing 5-4 after two periods, McGinty tied the match with an escape 20 seconds into the final frame. As time wound down, the match seemed destined to be a draw, but a determined McGinty took down Gunderson with one second left--good for a 17-10 Harvard lead.
Farrell, in the 177-lb. match, tallied five points in the final minute of play (two takedowns, one escape) to win an 8-2 decision over Joe Eagleeye.
Bulldog Steve Salzman (190) topped Kelly Flynn, 5-1, and his teammate Dan McInnis (heavyweight) beat Alex Konovalchik, 5-4, to close the margin to four points.
THE NOTEBOOK: The Crimson grapplers will travel to Princeton next weekend for the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships...Harvard finished the day with 19 takedowns to its credit, while Yale tallied only seven on the afternoon.