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The Harvard wrestling team doesn't believe in physical exhaustion.
After winning two matches on Friday, the Crimson came back the next day to demolish Penn, 27-9, sack Springfield, 28-18, and total Albany, 22-19, in a wrestle-a-thon yesterday at the Malkin Athletic Center.
"I thought the team as a whole wrestled their best technical match that they have wrestled this year against Penn," Harvard Coach Jim Peckham said. "I couldn't have asked for a better performance."
"We were on an emotional high wrestling Penn," Fred Jenkins said. "Everyone wrestled their hearts out."
At 118 pounds, Nick Cianciola started the Crimson heartbeat, pounding Brad Esson, 19-9.
The beat went on with 134-lb. Sam Cole, but the tempo slowed down a little bit, as Cole slaved out a 4-2 win. Cole started out furiously with a take-down, but after Rick Dabbs escaped, he had trouble getting the rhythm back.
"I wrestled terribly," Cole said. "I came out in the first 15 seconds really hard, and then I just shut down. My shots started getting really poor. I started diving for the mat instead of shooting on a level--straight in. Mentally, I was out of it."
Jumping up the scale, Jenkins outconditioned Josh Perelman, 7-6. The 167-pounder started out behind, and though he had little problem escaping Perelman's take-downs, Jenkins couldn't bust through for his own.
"His first few take-downs on me I was a little bit inhibited to fight it off," Jenkins said. "Because I was nervous I did some stupid things in the beginning that I shouldn't have done. Once I started getting in my double and driving, I was able to take him down."
Although the Crimson expected less from Springfield in the next match, the team had more reason to be nervous.
Cianciola started the match on a high point again, pancaking Jeff Yabion to a double grape-vine for a first-period pin.
Harvard sailed through the light-weight matches, but then things started to fall apart.
Aaron Danzig was holding his own in the 142-lb. class when he got caught in the second period in a headlock, and got pinned. Next up, 150-lb. Mike Costanza found himself in a cradle and regained his composure too late, falling, 8-2.
At 158-lbs. Captain Tim Kierstead was easily controlling Nick Leary, 7-3, when he fell into a head-lock, and also got pinned in the second period. Harvard was losing for the first time in the match. Things looked bleak.
The pressure was on for 190-lb. Joe Biland to come up with a win. But he did more than just win. He pinned Roger Hill in the second period.
"I was happy," Biland said. "I put us up by four points so all our heavyweight had to do was not lose by more than seven points. So that gave us a cushion."
Heavyweight Dwight Cooper needed a lawyer more than a cushion for his match.
Cooper has been out of practice for three weeks, nursing an ear injury. Cooper claimed he had clearance to wrestle, but Harvard trainer Kate Smith advised against it, and feared liability for any damage to his ear that might result from the bout.
As the match stood, with Harvard up by four, the Crimson couldn't afford to lose six points for a default. Peckham, Smith and the referees debated until Cooper finally signed a waiver, releasing Smith from any responsibility, and the bout began.
Cooper made all the ruckus seem a little bit silly, pinning Chris Bernier in thirty seconds.
"We made a judgement call today, because Dwight's been out for a few weeks, but looking at their heavyweight I didn't think the bout was going to last very long, and it didn't Peckham said. "Dwight's been training enough to go for thirty seconds."
If the Penn match was exhilarating, and the Springfield match was nerve-wracking, then the Albany match was refreshingly simple.
Peckham felt confident enough to fill the roster with back-up wrestlers, and Harvard came through in most of the matches up and down the scale.
"We simply had a few too many guns for them," Peckham said. Crimson, 26-18 at Malkin Athletic Center
Josh Freshwater (H) technical fall vs. Andy Borushik (A), 5:50.
Todd Cameron (H) d. Eric Hazin (A), 17-6.
Brett Janis (H) d. Rob Appel (A), 7-1.
Bill Mallin (A) d. Tim Koch (H), 3-9.
Chris Zogby (A) d. Chris Bell (H), 15-4.
Tim Kierstead (H) and John Pavlin (A) tied, 2-2.
Greg Jones (A) d. Fred Jenkins (H), 3-2.
Dave George (H) d. Greg Jones (A), 16-3.
Joe Biland (H) d. Chris Roberts (A), 10-0.
Al Gordon (A) d. Rob Rogers (H), 16-4. Crimson, 27-9 at Malkin Athletic Center
Nick Cianciola (H) d. Brad Esson (P), 19-9.
Todd Cameron (H) d. Paul Schwarzbach (P), 7-5.
Sam Cole (H) d. Rick Dabbs (P), 4-2.
Aaron Danzig (H) d. Steve Sender (P), 8-5.
Dave Teklits (P) d. Mike Costanza (H), 4-2.
Tim Kierstead (H) d. Matt Moyer (P), 5-3.
Fred Jenkins (H) d. Josh Perelman (P), 7-6.
John Willoughby (H) d. Eric Spence (P), 12-3.
Joe Biland (H) d. Steve Smith (P), 9-2.
Eric Rainer (9) won by default. Crimson, 28-18 at Malkin Athletic Center
Nick Cianciola (H) pinned Jeff Yabion (S), 2:21.
Frank Fronhofter (H) d. Dan Eplite (S), 4-1.
Sam Cole (H) d. Sean Kiley (S), 19-7.
Brent Reed (S) pinned Aaron Danzig (H), 3:56.
John Maute (S) d. Mike Costanza (H), 8-2.
Nick Leary (S) pinned Tim Kierstead (H), 3:50.
Fred Jenkins (H) d. Damon Popella (S), 10-7.
Orlando Rosa (S) d. John Willoughby (H), 5-4.
Joe Biland (H) pinned Roger Hill (S), 4:39.
Dwight Cooper (H) pinned Chris Bernier (S), 1:30.
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