No. 23 Wrestling Ends Drought Against Penn, Falls to Princeton

The Crimson ended the drought in program history with its first win over Penn in 22 years (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 23 Harvard wrestling team split a pair of duals Saturday against Penn and Princeton at the Malkin Athletic Center, earning its first win over the Quakers in 22 years, 23-19, before falling to the Tigers, 25-14. The split moves Harvard's overall record to 5-6, 2-4 EIWA.

The Crimson got off to a great start against Penn, earning wins at 125 lbs., 133 lbs. and 141 lbs. for a 12-0 lead. Freshman Max Mejia began the day with a pin of Karim Shafi, scoring the fall just 59 seconds into their bout. No. 12 Steven Keith followed up with a 6-2 decision over No. 14 Bryan Ortenzio, and Shay Warren capped off the run by posting a 6-3 decision over Geoffrey Bostany.

After a major decision at 149 lbs. went in Penn's (4-6, 1-3 EIWA) favor, No. 4 Walter Peppelman put Harvard in front 15-4 with a 5-2 decision over Troy Hernandez. The 165 lbs. bout also went the Quakers way, before Josh Popple notched his third technical fall of the year over Ian Korb at 174 lbs., 19-2. 184-pounder Cameron Croy earned a 2-1 decision in tiebreakers over Erich Smith to move the score to 23-10 and seal the victory, despite wins by Penn at the final two weights.

Harvard's win marked the team's first over the Quakers since a 27-9 victory at the MAC February 10, 1990, and broke the longest losing streak in program history.

The Crimson was unable to carry its momentum into the afternoon, however, as Princeton won six of 10 weights en route to a 25-14 win. Harvard was on top 4-3 after Keith notched a 10-0 major decision over Christopher Perez, but the Tigers rattled off three straight wins to go on top 16-4. The run included a big upset for Princeton, with No. 19 Daniel Kolodzik earning a major decision over Peppelman, 9-1.

Ian Roy, Croy and David Ng each put one in the win column for Harvard down the stretch, but the Tigers posted victories at 174 lbs. and 197 lbs. to hold on for the win.

Keith and Croy were the only Crimson to go 2-0 on the day, with Keith improving to 24-6 and Croy moving to 15-10. Peppelman's loss ended a 10-match win streak for the junior, as he now stands at 18-4 overall, 10-1 in duals.

Harvard is set to return to action Saturday, Feb. 11 with a pair of duals against Brown and Boston University. The Crimson will first travel to Providence, R.I. for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Bears before returning to Cambridge to take on the Terriers in the Cambridge Cup at 7 p.m. in the MAC.

No. 23 Harvard 23, Penn 19
125 –
Max Mejia (Harv) fall Karim Shafi (Penn), 0:59, 6-0
133 – No. 12 Steven Keith (Harv) dec. No. 14 Bryan Ortenzio (Penn), 6-2, 9-0
141 – Shay Warren (Harv) dec. Geoffrey Bostany (Penn), 6-3, 12-0
149 – Mark Pinero (Penn) major dec. Patrick Hogan (Harv), 12-1, 12-4
157 – No. 4 Walter Peppelman (Harv) dec. Troy Hernandez (Penn), 5-2, 15-4
165 – Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) fall Ian Roy (Harv), 1:57, 15-10
174 – Josh Popple (Harv) tech. fall Ian Korb (Penn), 19-2 (4:13), 20-10
184 – Cameron Croy (Harv) dec. Erich Smith (Penn), 2-1 TB1, 23-10
197 – No. 9 Micah Burak (Penn) fall Bryan Panzano (Harv), 6:01, 23-16
HWT – Steven Graziano (Penn) dec. David Ng (Harv), 3-2, 23-19

Princeton 25, No. 23 Harvard 14
125 –
Ryan Cash (Prince) dec. Max Mejia (Harv), 9-5, 3-0
133 – No. 12 Steven Keith (Harv) major dec. Christopher Perez (Prince), 10-0, 4-3
141 – No. 14 Adam Krop (Prince) dec. Shay Warren (Harv), 8-3, 6-4
149 – Zachary Bintliff (Prince) fall Patrick Hogan (Harv), 4:18, 12-4
157 – No. 19 Daniel Kolodzik (Prince) major dec. No. 4 Walter Peppelman (Harv), 9-1, 16-4
165 – Ian Roy (Harv) dec. Richard Eva (Prince), 3-2, 16-7
174 – Andrew Lowy (Prince) dec. Josh Popple (Harv), 7-5, 19-7
184 – Cameron Croy (Harv) dec. Daniel Santoro (Prince), 8-3, 19-10
197 – Kurt Brendel (Prince) fall Bryan Panzano (Harv), 0:42, 25-10
HWT – David Ng (Harv) major dec. Robert Grogan (Prince), 12-4, 25-14