ACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 

Grapplers Head to Omaha for NCAA Wrestling Championships

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Particulars

Three members of the Harvard wrestling team will compete at the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.

Last Time Out
Senior co-captain J.P. O’Connor won the EIWA title at 157 pounds to lead the Harvard wrestling team at the 106th EIWA Championships at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena.

O’Connor cruised to the finals yesterday winning three matches including two by bonus points. In the 157 pound final, the No.1 ranked wrestler in the nation defeated No. 7 Bryce Saddaris of Navy, 3-1, for his first conference crown. The 2010 Co-Ivy League Wrestler of the Year made his fourth appearance in the championship match.

Louis Caputo, a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection, finished second at 184 pounds after falling to No. 4 Mike Cannon of American, 5-1, in the championship bout. Caputo, who is ranked sixth in the nation, earned a spot in the final after a sudden victory win over Lehigh’s David Craig last night.

Steven Keith, who was unseeded in the tournament, knocked off the three seeded wrestlers over the two-day tournament to punch a ticket to the NCAAs. He beat third-seed Jasen Borschoff, 9-3, Sunday morning for a chance to wrestle for third place. In the third place match, the Harvard freshman dominated No. 19 Joseph Langel of Rutgers, who was also the No. 2 seed, with a 16-0 technical fall in 3:11.

Harvard finished 11th overall with 52.5 team points.

The Seeds|
Two of Harvard’s three qualifiers are seeded for the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships. J.P. O’Connor earned the No. 1 seed at 157 pounds, while Louis Caputo is the eighth seed at 184 pounds. O’Connor is the second Harvard wrestler to garner the No. 1 seed at the NCAA Championships. Jesse Jantzen did it in 2004.

All-Americans
Two thousand and nine marked the fourth year in a row Harvard had at least one All-American. Fourteen of Harvard’s 22 All-Americans have come in the last 10 years. The Crimson has had six All-Americans from 2006-2009.

NCAA Qualifiers
Harvard sends three qualifiers to the NCAA Championship, marking the 11th time Harvard has sent three or more wrestlers to the NCAA tournament since 1996. The Crimson has had at least one qualifier for 15 years in a row and 18 of the last 19 years. Harvard had as many as six qualifiers in 2001.

Leader of the Pack
Head coach Jay Weiss (Franklin and Marshall ’90) is in his 16th season at the helm. He has coached 50 NCAA Qualifiers, 15 EIWA Champions, 15 All-Americans, a NCAA Champion and a NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Also Matside
Pat Owen is in his third season as an assistant coach at Harvard. Owen, a 2004 Michigan graduate, was a three-time NCAA qualifier. Joining Weiss and Owen in the corner is Sean Harrington, who was a two-time All-American at Massachusetts-Lowell, and Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov, a two-time junior national champion and All-American at American University.

NCAA History
Harvard has placed in the top 55 of the NCAA Championships 25 times. The Crimson’s highest finish was in 1938 when it placed seventh behind NCAA Champion John Harkness. Harvard also scored a high 29 points at the 2007 championships behind three All-America performances.

Top NCAA Finishes
1938 - Seventh
1930 - 12th
1999 - 20th
2004, 2007 -22nd
1953, 2002 - 23rd

Most Points Scored at NCAAs
2007 - 29
2004 - 26.5
1999, 2003 - 22.5
2002 - 22
2000 - 15.5

Ivy League Honors
Harvard senior J.P. O’Connor was named Ivy League Wrestler of the Year, while earning unanimous first-team All-Ivy League honors along with classmate Louis Caputo.

O’Connor, a two-time All-American, was named Co-Ivy League Wrestler of the Year for his unbeaten record heading into the EIWA Championships It is his second wrestler of the year honor, having won the award in 2008. O’Connor, a three-time EIWA finalist, is the first Harvard grappler and seventh in the Ancient Eight to earn the honor twice. He is also a three-time unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection, after earning second-team honors as a freshman. As a freshman, he was named co-rookie of the year in 2007 after a historic first season with the Crimson.

Caputo, also a two-time All-American, was named a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League honoree for the second year in a row. The Blue Springs, Mo., native is a three-time first-team recipient and four-time selection to the All-Ivy team after making the second-team as a freshman. He won the 184 pound title at the 2007 EIWA Championships.

Statistical Leaders
J.P. O’Connor paces the team in wins with 30 victories this season. Louis Caputo has 22, while Steven Keith has posted 18 wins in his rookie season. O’Connor has 16 wins by bonus points, while Keith has 11.

The Unbeaten
No Harvard wrestler has finished the season undefeated. Jesse Jantzen ’04 went unbeaten in 2004 at his weight class, but wrestled up a weight and suffered his only loss of the season. He sported a 35-1 record in 2004 for a .972 win percentage which is the single season record.

Freshmen at the Big Dance
Steven Keith is one of 10 freshmen to qualify for the NCAA Championships under head coach Jay Weiss.  Corey Jantzen, J.P O’Connor, Louis Caputo, Andrew Flanagan, Bode Ogunwole’ 08, Robbie Preston ’08-09, Jesse Jantzen ’04, Max Odom ’04 and Ed Mosley ’00.

King of Unseeded
Steven Keith went into the EIWA Championships and defeated three grapplers seeded ahead of him. In the first round he avenged an earlier season loss to Kyle Gilchrist, the eighth seed. After a loss to top-ranked Troy Nickerson, Keith beat third seed and No. 20 Jasen Borshoff of American, 9-3, to guarantee a spot at NCAAs. In the third-place match, he won by technical fall over the second seed and No. 19 Joseph Langel of Rutgers, 16-0.

The Century Mark
Only six wrestler have recorded 100 or more wins in their careers. J.P. O’Connor is the newest member of the club. His win by fall over Ramon Santiago of Rider at the Binghamton Open in November was the 100th of his career. Classmate Louis Caputo joined the club last March.

Elite Group
Louis Caputo and J.P. O’Connor join Jesse Jantzen’04 and Ed Mosley ’00 as four-time NCAA qualifiers.  Caputo qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, while O’Connor advanced in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Seven wrestlers are three-time qualifiers.

The Harvard Victory Club
J.P. O’Connor is second on Harvard’s all-time wins list with 127 career victories. Louis Caputo is third with 125 wins. Jesse Jantzen ’04 holds the program record for wins with 132.

Wrestler................................ Years........................ Wins
Jesse Jantzen ’04 ............... 2000-04 ......................... 132      
J.P. O’Connor ’10 ...........  2006-Pres ........................  127                   
Louis Caputo ’09-’10 ........ 2005-Pres. ........................  125
     
Dustin DeNunzio ’99 ........... 1994-99 ......................... 115        
Ed Mosley ’00 .................... 1995-00 ......................... 111       
Joey Killar ’00 ....................  1996-00 ........................  101       
Max Meltzer ’07 .................. 2002-07 ........................... 91       
Dawid Rechul ’02 ................ 1998-02 ........................... 89       
Joel Friedman ’99 ............... 1994-99 ........................... 88       
Barry Bausano ’85 .............. 1981-85 ........................... 86       
Jim Phills ’83 ...................... 1979-88 ........................... 84       
Matt Picarsic ’01 ................. 1997-01 ........................... 83