With the swimming, squash, and hockey teams winning in fine form and the basketball quintet losing in such spectacular fashion, the varsity wrestling squad's own brand of heroics has gone virtually unnoticed in winter competition. Under the coaching of Bob Pickett, Harvard has quietly compiled an unprecedented 4-1 record in League competition--good enough for undisputed possession of second place in the Ivy Loop.
To stay in second place, however, the Crimson must beat Yale in the crucial match in New Haven tomorrow night.
Going into the season, wrestling prospects were the "same as last year" when the varsity tied for fifth in a field of seven. First division hopes seemed especially dim since the Crimson had never finished higher than fourth in seven solid years of trying.
The unexpected development of sophomore talent has been largely responsible for putting the varsity where it has never been before. Tom Gilmore, at 123 pounds along with Ben Brooks, and John Hoffman in heavier divisions are all second year men. The trio produced crucial points in the Crimson wins over Brown, Penn, Columbia and Princeton.
Veterans Fred Pereira and captain Bob Kolodney have provided experience and stability in the middle weight range, while Bob Fastov's rapid improvement in the unlimited class gives the Crimson a balanced line-up noticeably lacking in former years. Pickett admits his charges "have come across faster than anyone thought they could," but he faces real personnel problems against Yale in New Haven Saturday afternoon.
Kolodney, Pickett's only undefeated grappler, will miss the Bulldog match with a bad knee injury. One of the team's sophomore standouts, John Mamana, is also on the inactive list at the 177 pound level.
Juggling his wrestlers to compensate for injuries, Pickett will face Yale with a line-up of seven sophomores and two juniors. He rates the match a "real toss-up," that could go either way, depending on which team is "up" on Saturday.