Photo courtesy of Tabitha Wilson.
OMAHA, Neb. - Senior J.P. O’Connor won the 157 pound title at the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,919 at the Qwest Center. O’Connor is the third NCAA Champion for the Crimson and first to finish a season undefeated.
“I just had the fire and determination to win it this year,” O’Connor said in his post-match press conference. I truly believed that I could win it during my sophomore and junior years, but I just didn’t turn out that way, which was disappointing. I tried to turn it into a positive and thought about it every day.”
O’Connor defeated Cal Poly’s Chase Pami, 6-4, to take the title and improve to 35-0 on the season. Pami struck first and scored quickly, it was the first time O’Connor had been taken down all tournament. It only took O’Connor 12 seconds to get out and start his own offense. He scored on Pami and held him to start the riding time. O’Connor chose bottom to start the second and scored on a reversal to take a 5-3 lead. Pami picked bottom to start the third and escaped after 1:39. Pami took several shots late, but O’Connor held off the attack.
O’Connor outscored his opponents 51-10 at the NCAAs. He is the second three-time All-American at Harvard and finishes his career tied for first in program wins with 132. He shares the top spot with another national champion, Jesse Jantzen.
He is the 16th All-American under Jay Weiss, the David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling and 23rd overall. This marks the fifth year in a row, the Crimson has had at least one All-American at the NCAA Championships.
As a team, the Crimson finished in a tie for 23rd with 25 points.
157 – No. 1 J.P. O’Connor
defeated Vincent Salminen (North Dakota State), 15-2
defeated Jake Kerr (Iowa), 8-1
defeated Justin Gaejthe (Northern Colorado), 8-1
defeated No. 5 Steve Fittery (American), 14-2
defeated No. 7 Chase Pami (Cal Poly), 6-4
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