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BU and Harvard to Celebrate Long Standing Rivalry With Charles Cup

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Separated only by a river, Harvard University and Boston University will celebrate their long-standing annual rivalry in wrestling this Saturday with the dedication of The Charles Cup following their 1 p.m. match at Harvard’s Malkin Athletic Center. Moving forward the cup will be presented annually to the victorious team.

As the only two remaining NCAA Division I wrestling programs in the state of Massachusetts, both have quietly built nationally competitive teams under the direction of two long-standing coaches, Carl Adams of BU (28 years) and Jay Weiss of Harvard (16 years).

Saturday’s match will be the 42nd meeting of these rivals. The teams met four times from 1950 through 1952; after a 20-year hiatus, the rivalry resumed in 1972 and has been held annually ever since. Harvard leads the series 21-18-2. Competing against more well known traditional wrestling powerhouses such as Iowa State and Oklahoma State, both teams have enjoyed noteworthy national success.

At Harvard, Jay Weiss’s teams have had 15 EIWA individual champions, compared to only four in the 76 years before that. Weiss has coaches 15 of the university’s 23 NCAA All- Americans. In fact, Harvard has enjoyed at least one All American in 10 of the last 12 years. In 2004, not only did Jesse Jantzen win the NCAA championship at 149 pounds, but he was also voted outstanding wrestler in the NCAA championships.

Meanwhile, Carl Adams’s charges have also enjoyed significant successes. In 28 years at BU, his teams have won 10 conference championships, and his wrestlers have made 90 appearances at the NCAA Championships. He has also had several chosen as All-Americans. Adams himself was a two-time NCAA wrestling champion at Iowa State, and he is the author of several books and one of the most respected coaches in the nation, serving on both the National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s Executive Committee and the NCAA Rules Committee.

“Boston University and Harvard have a long history of competition against each other,” commented Adams. “The match is always intense and the momentum of each program tends to swing back and forth. BU has its loyal wrestling supporters and so does Harvard. Our team always really looks forward to this particular match as it features the only two Division I wrestling programs in Massachusetts.”

“I am delighted we are going to commemorate this long-time rivalry,” added Weiss. “We don’t celebrate a lot of our dual meets but this is a unique long-standing tradition that deserves to be recognized, and it gives both teams extra motivation to win.”

Boston University Professor John McGrath, Chairman of the McLaughlin Foundation which provided The Charles Cup, commented “who would have ever thought that, with all the attention given to other sports at both colleges, that right here - separated only by a river - lie two of the best wresting programs in New England. While these two schools rarely intersect on the collegiate national stage, here they do. We’re delighted that The Charles Cup will celebrate this rivalry and also be given in honor of the long-term selfless dedication of two terrific coaches.”