Photo of Cameron Croy courtesy of Gil Talbot.
The Harvard wrestling team returns to the mat after a one-week hiatus. The Crimson faces two tough EIWA opponents on the road Saturday and Sunday in Army and No. 7 Lehigh. Harvard visits Army Saturday at 2 p.m. and takes on Lehigh Sunday at 1 p.m.
Keep up with the scores at home via the NWCA Live Scorebook. The links for each dual meet are posted above.
Last Time Out
Walter Peppelman picked up three wins at the Lone Star Duals Jan. 15 including a win over a top-six wrestler to lead the Harvard wrestling team.
The Crimson lost a close match to Appalachian State, 22-17, before falling to No. 7 Oklahoma, 33-8, and Stanford, 35-10.
Freshman Ian Roy picked up two wins on the afternoon at 174 pounds, defeating Carter Downs of Appalachian State, 4-3 and Oklahoma's Jeff James, 4-2.
The Black Knights are 6-4 heading into the weekend after its midweek dual with Hofstra was postponed. Army is coming off a third-place finish at the New York State championships where Casey Thome won the 141 pound title. Jordan Thome (133 pounds) is tied for the team lead with 20 wins on the season. Jordan is also tied atop the team rankings in pins (six) and bonus point victories (nine). Daniel Young (149) placed runner-up at last weekend's New York State Championships. He is tied with Jordan Thome for the team lead in victories (20), while listing among the Black Knights' leaders in pins (three), technical falls (two) and bonus point victories (six). Army takes on Brown earlier in the day.
Army leads the all-time series 20-10 that dates back to 1928. The Black Knights have won five of the last six duals, including a 25-9 victory in Cambridge last year. The Crimson had won the five previous meetings with the Black Knights.
Lehigh entered the week with a 10-5 overall mark after knocking off No. 1 Cornell, 17-15, Jan. 20. The Mountain Hawks moved to seventh in the nation rankings with the win and boast six nationally ranked grapplers. The Mountain Hawks under third-year coach Pat Santoro are off to one of its best seasons yet. Lehigh finished third at Midlands with six place winners in December, tying a program record for number of place winners and finish at the tournament. Zach Rey (285) is No. 1 at his weight class and undefeated with a 20-0 record. Robert Hamlin is 18-2 at 184 pounds. Lehigh takes on No. 3 Virginia Tech Friday night and hosts Brown following its dual with Harvard.
Sunday's match will be the 14th in a series history that dates back to 1933. After the first meeting, the Crimson and Mountain Hawks did not face off again until 1998 and have met every year since. Lehigh leads the series, 12-1.
Talk About Offense
Walter Peppelman leads the team in wins with 17 victories this season. Peppelman has scored bonus points in 11 of those 17 wins, including five wins by major decision, three by technical fall and four by fall.
Welcome Back Captain
Senior co-captain Andrew Knapp returned to the mat against Rutgers. It was his first competition since the EIWA Championships in March 2009.
Corey Jantzen and Walter Peppelman each have three and four wins by fall this season, respectively. Jantzen has 10 collegiate pins, while Peppelman has picked up 11 so far. Overall the Crimson has eight wins by fall on the year.
Walter Peppelman is ranked as high as eighth in the nation at 157 pounds.
The Crimson is doing its share of community service each year. During the month of January, Harvard wrestlers will volunteer with the Mission Hill After School Program to tutor residents of the Alice Taylor housing complex, a low income section of Roxbury. Earlier in the year, Jackson Salovarra '11 organized an event where Harvard went to church near campus to help weatherize the church rectory. The Crimson spent all day insulating and closing the house up for the winter which in turn will save the rectory thousands of dollars in the long run. These projects are just a small sample of how this program gives back to the community!
Pack the MAC
The Crimson returns to Cambridge in two weeks to take on Brown and Hofstra (Feb. 12), followed by Columbia (Feb. 18) and Cornell (Feb. 19) to close out the dual season.
On the Horizon
Harvard begins Ivy League action next weekend at Penn and Princeton. The Crimson takes on both opponents Saturday, Feb. 5 on the road.