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With two victories and an unexpectedly good showing at the Wilkes Open Tournament under its belt, the undefeated varsity wrestling team faces the toughest opponent on its schedule Saturday in Cornell, the powerhouse of the Ivy League.
Although notably pleased with the team's showing thus far this season, Coach Bob Pickett hesitates to characterize his team or predict its chances against the Big Red. Sopohomores, he explained, are unpredictable. One can't foretell how they'll do under fire, and with six of the eight members on the team from the Class of ' 59, Pickett can only cross his fingers and hope that they are as good as they have appeared in practice, in their 34-0 slaughter of Dart-mouth, and their 22-8 romp over M.I.T.
One thing is certain--his squad is in top shape and well-conditioned, a prerequisite for the nine gruelling minutes of wrestling. This was quite noticeable in the Engineer meet.
Strong in Middle
The team's weakness, if it has any, is in the lower and the upper weights, while it shows considerable strength through the middle divisions.
At 123, Dave Skeels has done an excellent job so far this season, registering a decision and a pin. But Skells is more a 115-pounder, who must give away a weight advantage of several pounds, and when he meets Cornell's lightweight, reportedly one of the best in the East, his great speed and aggressiveness may not compensate for his weight deficiency.
Striker Outs Abramovitz
Mike Abramovitz, who split his first two matches, has been ousted by Paul Striker, who moves down from 137 to 130, his normal division. Striker and Bob Crook, who wrestles at 137, are about on a par, both being fast and aggressive, although Striker appears the stronger, while Crook has a greater reach than the smaller Striker.
Joey Noble, at 147, suffered the only Crimson pin of the first two meets, losing to Engineer Harris Hyman in the last period of their match. Hyman went on to take fourth in the Wilkes tourney. Noble lost only to his Yale opponent last year, as he led the Yarllings through their undefeated season.
Gilmor at 167
At 157, Pickett finds himself with two sophomores who are so evenly matched that he will stage the second of two trial matches to see who will wrestle in the Cornell meet. Both Jack Eastling and King Holmes combine speed and power.
Captain Bob Gilmor, the only senior on the squad, makes 167 the Crimson's strongest division. Undefeated as a freshman, Gilmor has chalked up a record of 16 wins, four losses and two ties during his three years of varsity competition. He has speed, skill, aggressive-ness, and strength, a combination of attributes which makes an outstanding wrestler.
Foster, Raymond Even
At 177, Pickett has Bob Foster, who went undefeated last year as a freshman and so far this season has registered a pin and a decision. Although junior Ted Raymond combines the speed of a lighter man with the strength of a heavyweight, he must spot his opponent as much as 25 pounds, a handicap which may prove insurmountable against Cornell. In sophomore Al Culbert, presently ineligible because of scholastic difficulties, Pickett has an outstanding heavyweight.
As the team looks at this moment, it should acquit itself well in Ivy competition, possibly even defeating Yale for the first time since 1934. The sophomores have the potential; whether or not they can realize it will make the difference between a good and a phenomenal season.
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