The Harvard wrestling team spent last weekend duking its way to an eighth place finish out of 16 teams at the Coast Guard Tournament in London, Conn.
Not the best thing since sliced bread, but the Crimson is rightfull rejoicing in its leap up from last year's finish.
Freshman Sam Cole gave everyone reason to rejoice. Cole took the first place trophy for the 126-lbs. weight class and went down in the record book as the first freshman to win the tournament in Harvard history.
It could be a book. "Sam Cole Takes the Tourney."
Chapter one: Cole pins a Southern Connecticut State University wrestler in the first period. No sweat.
Chapter two: Cole pounds on his Columbia man in a 15-3 decision. Confidence, confidence, dry and secure.
Chapter three: Cole handles his St. Lawrence opponent, 8-4. Maybe a few beads.
Chapter four: Cole squeezes out a 4-1 decision versus a Rutgers grappler to make the semi-finals. The heat is on.
Chapter five: Gasp, Cole meets up with the same Rutgers man in the finals and sweats out a 3-1 victory. End of story.
"I was pretty pleased with my performance," said Cole. "I've been working really hard and had excellent coaching."
Dwight Cooper weighed in at heavyweight, in the stead of injured Kelly Flynn. Cooper, the other half of the freshman dynamic duo along with Cole, pummeled his way to fourth place in his weight class.
"Brett Jamis and Tim Kierstead also wrestled some good matches but didn't come up with a place," said Captain Alex Konovalchik.
Konvalchik hit the mats for the first time this season, fresh from a stint with the varsity football team. Heavy-weight Tony Consigli, also straight from the football fields, looks to get some wrestling time in the next few matches.
The squad has come a long way since last year.
"Well, there's a marked improvement from last year," said Cole. "Last year I think we were second to last in the tournament."
Why the drastic improvement?
"The coaching's been fantastic," Cole reasoned. "That's probably one of the biggest factors, and everyone has a lot of team spirit."
Any short term predictions?
"We have Springfield coming up on Wednesday?" Konovalchik said. "That was a really close match last year, but we have a tougher team this year, and I think we'll be able to take them."