With much more depth than teams in the past, the Harvard wrestling team showed signs of improvement, defeating Wilkes University and Central Connecticut in dual meets at Wilkes-Barre, Penn. on Saturday. The Crimson dropped Wilkes, 24-16, and Central Connecticut, 25-15.
Sophomore Dustin Denunzio, wrestling in the 126 pound class, led the way for the Crimson this weekend, notching 13-5 and 9-4 victories against Wilkes and Central Connecticut, respectively. Freshmen Dan Devivo (167 pounds) and Ed Mosley (158 pounds) also garnered both of their matches.
Senior captain Steve Gerstung also racked up impressive results, with 11-1 and 15-8 triumphs. Sophomores Joel Friedman, Rob Durbin and James Butera each split the weekend.
"Last year, we had a few good individuals who would do well in a tournament," Friedman said. "This year we have much more depth which will help us become a better team especially in dual meets."
This new found depth, due largely to the arrival of a superb freshman class, should help the Crimson improve on last year's less than fulfilling season. Harvard no longer needs to be carried on the back of one strong grappler; the Crimson's depth means better scores at dual-meets in particular.
The awards are already pouring in for this Harvard team on the rise. The Midland Tournament, which features past and current college wrestlers from around the country, has accepted Denunzio's and Mosley's application to compete. The tourney is held over winter break, December 28-30 at Northwestern.
Based on its strong start and a more balanced roster, the Crimson has high aspirations for the season. Friedman said that fellow freshmen Devivo and Mosley are two reasons why the Crimson are expecting to finish as one of the better teams at Easterns. Both wrestlers plug some holes in particular weight classes.
"I think that we'll do real well this year," Friedman said. "With the excellent recruting class that we have, we've really filled some gaps."
"I think that we should finish top five in the Easterns," Mosley said. "I wasn't here last year but from what I've heard so far this year is a big improvement. We have good recruiting, good coaching and a lot of support from Harvard. I think this meet is a real indication of how we will do this year."