Junior Hunter Ladnier performed admirably at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open, where he tied for fourth overall in the wrestling team’s first event of the season. The 157-pounder was Harvard’s top point-scorer at the event.
In his first match of the event, Ladnier was pinned by Lehigh’s Josh Humphreys. However, Ladnier would not let this loss affect him as he won his next five matches. His second match was against Lehigh’s Brian Meyer. To avenge his first loss against a Mountain Hawks wrestler, Ladnier won by decision with a final tally of 7-2.
Ladnier would later beat Quentin Hovis of Navy. In this match, Ladnier won unanimously 2-0. Ladnier then faced Penn State’s Bo Piper. Ladnier would easily win again, defeating Piper with a final decision of 8-1.
In his fifth match of the event, however, Ladnier faced his own teammate, Aaron Kruk ’20. Ladnier outscored Kruk by a numerous 16 points, winning by technical foul.
Ladnier’s rebound after his first loss added great momentum to his level of play. Ladnier’s four-match winning streak pushed him to the consolation semifinals, where he was set off to face probably his toughest opponent, Cornell’s Adam Santoro.
The two fought for a long time, each scoring a great number of points. Ultimately, Ladnier emerged victorious via major decision with a final score of 19-10. Ladnier eventually los to Navy’s Zachary Ervin in the third-place match. Thus, Ladnier settled for fourth place in a tie.
Ladnier, who is ranked 37th according to WrestleStat, plans to have even a better season than last year. Last season, Ladnier finished with a record of 18-12, with a win percentage of 60%. This time around, Ladnier has started the season strong and hopes to continue his success in the next events. With fresh faces at Harvard and upperclassmen returning stronger than before, Harvard hopes to improve its No. 56 national ranking and capture the Ivy League Championship.
Wrestling is scheduled to compete in the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia, Pa., on November 18.