The Harvard varsity wrestling team battles ten spirited Boston University grapplers in the Crimson's season opener at 2:30 this afternoon in the IAB.
B.U. emerged this year as a formidable Crimson opponent, after the Terriers adopted a new intensive recruiting policy last winter B.U.'s large core of Eastern and Midwestern high school champions drubbed New England champion Springfield, 27-8, in an early season meet.
But recent injuries of B.U. and Harvard starters leave today's outcome in question. Terrier co-captain Dan Osmanski (142lbs.) dislocated his elbow in a match with MIT Thursday night and B.U. coach Dick Gibney has been hard pressed to find a solid replacement.
Harvard will miss 134-pound starter Carl Biello, ranked lowth in the East Biello injured his shoulder two weeks ago and is not expected back in the hneup until January junior Rock Hinkle wrestles at 158 today, replacing Crimson starter Roy Osbun, who sustained a knee injury in practice earlier this week.
"It's conceivable either team can run away with the meet." Harvard coach John Lee said yesterday. "The matches will be close and rugged.
As good as they look on paper. B.U. is prone to making mistakes Lee added. "Any mistakes today will be costly," he said.
Harvard should notch wins in the 118 and 190 lb, divisions with Dan Blakinger, and team captain Richie Starr. Blakinger, ranked third in the nation at 118, and Starr, who took fifth in the 1971 NCAA meet, are competent wrestlers who can force a quick pin.
Freshmen Bill Haley, Ty Richardson and George Baker Tackle B.U. freshmen in the varsity 126, 134 and 142 divisions. "With lots of freshmen on both sides, matches are unpredictable." Lee said.
Promising sophomore Mike Dee and letterman Bruce Johnson start at 150 and 167, Dee has been particularly impressive this fall, and with Johnson, gives the team needed strength in their divisions.
Harvard's Jim Strathmeyer takes over John Keough's starting spot at 177, as Keough, overweight after playing football, battles the Terrier heavyweight in the unlimited class. Other eridders. Bob Kristott (unlimited), Paul Dowling (unlimited), and Wes Shofner (158), should appear later in the season after sufficient workouts, Lee said