In a tri-meet to open its season last night, the Harvard wrestling team was defeated by Boston University, but came back to defeat the University of Lowell.
The Crimson fell short in a close 28-17 match to the Terriers, but managed in the end to slip by Lowell, 23-22.
Sam Cole, Scott Beck, Tim Kierstead and Dwight Cooper rolled up the points for Harvard in the first match against B.U.
Cole, at 126-pounds, edged his opponent in a tight 4-0 decision. Kierstead inched out a 4-3 win in another close fight.
Beck and Cooper gained 13 of the 17 team points for the Crimson. Beck slaughtered the 134-pound B.U. wrestler in a 23-8 technical foul.
Climbing up the scale, heavyweight freshman Cooper debuted for the team with a first-period pin, after only one week of practice. He arrived on the wrestling scene right after freshman football ended.
Against Lowell, the trio of Cole, Beck and Kierstead was triumphant again. Beck pulled out a close match, 7-4. Cole pounded out five points for the team in a 15-point foul decision.
Kierstead outgrappled his opponent 6-5 in the crucial match of that meet. He pounced on the Lowell wrestler for a take-down in the last few seconds of the final period. That win gave Harvard three points instead of two, and made the difference in the final one-point victory.
Fred Jenkins wrestled at 190 pounds, up from his usual 177-pound slot and cradled his man for a first period pin.
Captain Alex Konovalchik couldn't complain with the first meet of the season.
"It's as good as I expected we'd do," he said.
Konovalchik points to the large number of freshmen, the injuries in the upper weights, and the late return of former football players as potential pitfalls that barely hampered the Crimson in its opener.
"We have a lot of youth on the team, including freshmen on the starting line-up," Konovalchik said. "Also a few guys, like me, who just got done with football and obviously didn't wrestle."
Kelly Flynn, the starting heavyweight sustained an injured wrist, and 177-pounder John Willoughby hurt his knee in practice. But the injuries should be cleared up by after Thanks giving break, putting the team back in full force.
"We've got a lot of good people coming back from last year and just as importantly we have some tough freshmen to fill out the lower weights," Konovalchik said.
What does that all add up to?
Some lofty aspirations for the rest of the season.
"I think we can make a run for the Ivy title," Konovalchik said.