After meeting adversity and misfortune on Friday night at Cornell, the Harvard wrestling team received a long-awaited blessing on Saturday. Not only did the Crimson solidly beat Columbia, 24-16, but Yale also clipped an overanxious Cornell team. Harvard and Yale will now square off against each other next Saturday for the League title.
Harvard had to rise to the occasion after the disappointment of Friday night's match in Ithaca. Always a formidable foe, Columbia has had marked success in recent years including the League title last year, and so the Crimson grapplers had their work cut out for them.
No team was able to build up momentum with a string of victories in this closely contested meet. The Crimson kept the score close through early on before pulling away from Columbia in the end, winning four of the last five matches. But at the meet's outset, when Lion wrestler Dave Galdi pinned Bill Clapps in the 150-lb. weight class, the score stood at 13-7 in favor of Columbia, it seemed that Harvard might fail in a tight match for the second time in two days.
Enter 158-lb. Sean Healey, a Crimson wrestler who has been plagued by inconsistency throughout the season. But Healey turned the tide for Harvard, pinning another outstanding Columbia wrestler, Dan Pepin, with a well-executed pancake maneuver to tie the score at 13.
From then on. Harvard was able to overpower the remaining Columbia matmen. Freshmen Barry Bausano and Sean Wallace scored decisions in their respective matches, and Jim Phills sealed the victory with a solid thrashing of Columbia heavyweight Jeff Roylance, 21-6.
When Paul Widerman started the meet with a solid victory over all Ivy wrestler Joe Rabin, 5-3, he thought the Crimson was wrestling for pride Next Saturday, they will be wrestling for the championship.