While this weekend marked the official end of the wrestling season with the NCAA championships last weekend, it also marked the end of a distinguished career for one of Harvard’s very own, Josef Johnson.
The Harvard wrestling team faltered in its first EIWA test, as Bucknell picked up a 21-10 decision over the visiting squad. However, the Crimson redeemed itself in a blowout victory over Franklin & Marshall.
Both wrestling dual meets this weekend were decided by one point, and the grapplers from Cambridge emerged from the fray with two victories.
In the first weekend of 2018, the Harvard wrestling squad was resolute at the Franklin and Marshall Open, taking three different divisions as the team heads into dual meet season.
In what is deemed its second toughest tournament of the season, the wrestling team traveled to Evanston, Ill., to compete against the nation's best. Of the group's 14 competitors, six posted points for the team, which finished the two-day tournament in 30th place.
Freshman Hunter Ladnier, pictured in January’s meet against Columbia, owns a 19-14 record on the year. The 149-pounder won his match against the Lions, scoring five points after a 18-3 technical fall victory in the Crimson’s 24-14 triumph over its Manhattan-dwelling Ivy League rival.
While this week’s Athlete of the Week honors went to members of the Ivy League Championship winning women’s squash team, four other student-athletes had especially impressive performances this week, earning them Athlete of the Week runners-up honors.
While Ott and Ladnier qualified for the first time, Johnson will make a return trip after appearing in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Prior to Friday night, Harvard wrestling had dropped four straight matches. Against the Pride, however, a pin by freshman A.J. Jaffe set the stage for a dominant evening.
At the start of March, Harvard wrestlers will compete at the EIWA Championships and potentially the NCAA Championships. Last weekend, though, the Crimson lost a pair of matches to Ivy League foes.