It's been a long winter for the Harvard wrestling team. Since opening the season with two straight victories way back in December, the Crimson matmen have managed only one tie and a single one-point win in ten dual meets.
At one juncture, injury and personnel problems were so great that the team's manager, Eric Behrens, was pressed into service. Rebounding from a 27-8 thumping at the hands of highly-regarded Springfield Wednesday night the matmen resume Ivy League Action today against Columbia at 1:30 p. m. in the IAB.
All but one starter, Pat Coleman, will be in the lineup for the Crimson's first home match in over a month. Harvard and Columbia have each lost one Ivy League encounter, to Cornell and Yale respectively, and both count decisive victories over cellar-dweller Brown.
As usual, Harvard coach John Lee is expecting to score well in the heavyweights, but the New Yorkers' strength lies in the lower weights. And that, precisely, is Harvard's Achilles Tendon.
"We'll have our hands full in the first five bouts," Lee said Thursday night. "We've got to get some points on the board, though, if we expect to win."
Roger Campbell (126), Mike Quinn (134), and Bob Wingate (142) are the Knights' most consistent, and best, performers. Quinn, the captain, has been out the last two meets, however, and may not compete today.
The Crimson will counter Columbia's lightweight advantage with the regular heavyweight lineup of Mark Faller, Tony Rayner, Dave Scanlon, and Jim Abbott. Earlier this week, Scanlon aggravated a boil on his leg that kept him out of action for two weeks in January, and did not compete against Springfield.
Faller, who has been moving effortlessly from 167 to 177 and back since early January, is Harvard's only unbeaten competitor with an 11-0 record.
Colin Mangrum, one of the Crimson's two victors against Springfield, was scheduled to hold a wrestle-off with Mike Slutzker yesterday to determine the starter at 158 today.
Dean Sheppard is apparently settled at 150 for the remainder of the season, as Pat Coleman will make weight at 142 when he returns from a torn cartilage in his nose. Coleman should be able to start practicing again Monday if he gets the doctor's ok this weekend.
Captain Paul Catinella will be trying to get back on the winning track today after losing twice and being tied once in his last three bouts.
Tom Schnorr (118), Steve Monsulik (126), and Rick Battle (134) round cut the Harvard lineup.
The Crimson matmen wind up the Ivy League schedule during the next three weeks, and Lee is looking cautiously ahead. "My hope is that we can beat Columbia, Rutgers, and Yale." he said Thursday." It would take a minor miracle for us to beat Princeton or Penn.
Princeton, sitting alone at the top of the Ivy standings and counting a win over Penn in its favor, is the odds on favorite to run away with the title.
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