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Smarting from last Friday's heartbreak loss at Yale, coach Johnny Lee's wrestlers methodically mauled a helpless Brown squad, 35-10, Saturday at Providence.
It was a case of too little too late, however, for the win was good for only a 4-2 third place Ivy League finish behind Princeton (6-0) and Yale (5-1).
Coach Lee, correctly anticipating the sad state of the Bruin wrestlers, inserted five members of the Crimson J.V. squad (Jim Kaller, George Letsui, Brian Adler, Doug Mason, and Craig Beling,) into his line-up of bear-baiters.
And the ready reserves came through, besting Brown in three of the five battles.
Kaller (118 lbs.) started the match with a no-sweat effort, dominating his nonexistent Brown opponent in a forfeit win. Co-captain Milt Yasunaga (126 lbs.) followed with a 11-1 rout, boosting his season record to 9-1-1.
Letsui (134 lbs.) made it three in a row for the Crimson with a 10-5 decision but Adler's 6-3 loss to Brown's Ben Levine (142 lbs.) brought the Crimson win streak to an end.
Tom Bixby (150 lbs.) set things straight again, cruising to a 12-1 triumph. But then the world turned upside down--Brown won two matches in succession. First Mason (158 lbs.) came out on the bottom of a 10-2 decision and then Jim Corcoran (167 lbs.) fell to Brown's Al Fisher in an 8-7 squeaker.
It was up to Sal D'agostino (177 lbs.) to restore sanity to the mat, and he did just that, pinning Russ Stellpinae at 7:44. D'agostino upped his record to 11-1 for the season with eight pins.
Harvard heavyweight power continued to dominate as Fred Smith (190 lbs.) made quick work of Ted Bates with a pin at 3:10, Beling (unlimited) then closed out the meet with dispatch. Before anyone had unblinked their eyes he dumped Mike Wallace of Brown (not CBS), pinning him at 1:14.
Coach Lee couldn't get overly excited about the Crimson victory, though. "We figured to beat Brown. They just weren't that good," Lee said yesterday. The Yale loss still hung heavily on the Crimson despite the Brown massacre. "We had a great year, but that meet was a bummer," he added.
But coaches can always find solace in hopes for the future. Lee had special praise for D'agostino, a hard-nosed battler whose one loss came against Yale in a last-ditch struggle for a pin. And D'agostino is only a junior, while sophomore Beling, a fall footballer, looks like the heavyweight of the future. Lee expects him to be unbeatable after he finds the experience to go with his "outstanding athletic ability."
For now Lee can look to next Tuesday's match with UMass, with linebacker Beling matching up with behemoth defensive tackle Dennis Fenton, and the Eastern Championships at Syracuse in March to take his mind off the Bulldogs.
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