For the Harvard wrestling team--still in the early rebuilding stages--final scores have meant very little this season.
That was the case in the Crimson's final dual meet of the season against Brown on Saturday afternoon at Malkin Athletic Center.
Although Brown--one of the top teams in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA)-- defeated Harvard, 26-13, the loss was only another step forward in developing the wrestling program.
"I think we wrestled our best against Brown," coach Jay Weiss said. "We came out with a lot of intensity."
The Crimson held a 13-7 lead through the first six bouts, winning four of the weight divisions, including a major decision for freshman Joel Fried man at 134 pounds.
Other Harvard victors were freshman James Butwa (118 pounds), tri-captain Khas Reina (150 pounds) and junior Steve Gerstung (158 pounds).
"We wrestled pretty well," Reina said. "Some guys had been in ruts, including myself, so it was really positive to wrestle well."
The Bears, however, took over the contest after the early Crimson streak, winning the final four bouts-one by decision, one by forfeit, one by major decision, and one by pin. The final Bear surge left the Crimson flat on the mats.
Harvard had to compete at the 126-pound weight class without freshman standout Dustin DeNunzio, who has been ill all week.
With the regular season behind it, the Crimson can look ahead to the more promising prospects of wrestling at the EIWA Tournament. The 14-team tournament will be held March 3-4 at Annapolis.
Although Harvard will not wrestle in the team competition, some of its wrestlers will figure prominently in several weight classes.
"We should get a couple of good seeds," Weiss said. "Anything can happen. It just depends on our attitude going in."
The top two wrestlers in each weight class as well as eight wildcards will advance to the Nationals.