The Crimson will compete for conference titles and NCAA berths at the 2013 EIWA Championships (Robert Preston).
The Story Line
A year's worth of training and four months of competition comes down to two days now as the Harvard wrestling team prepares to take the mat at the 2013 EIWA Championships March 8-9 in New Brunswick, N.J.
For complete tournament information, click here.
What to Watch For
Several Crimson have received a seed for the 2013 EIWA Championships headlined by 157-pounder Walter Peppelman. The two-time All-American enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed in his weight class and will be vying for his first conference crown.
Steven Keith has been seeded No. 2 at 141 lbs. as has James Fox at 197 lbs. Keith was an All-American a year ago while Fox qualified for the national tournament as a true freshman. Jeffrey Ott, this year's freshmen sensation for the Crimson, has received the No. 5 seed at 125 lbs. 174-pounder Cameron Croy and heavyweight David Ng were also seeded, coming in at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.
To view the complete brackets, click here.
Follow Live on the Web
Fans can watch all of the action from the 2013 EIWA Championships live online thanks to FloWrestling.com and Rutgers' RVision. Flo will be streaming the first three sessions of the tournament on its website while Rutgers will stream the finals. To access the live video streams, click the links below.
Schedule of Events Friday, March 8
NCAA Berths At Stake
Each of the wrestlers competing at the EIWA Championships will also be vying for a spot at the 2013 NCAA Championships, being held this year March 21-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The NCAA announced the qualifier allocations for the tournament last week, with the EIWA receiving 45 automatic bids, second only to the Big Ten Conference's 74. Each conference qualifying tournament was awarded a specific number of spots per weight class based on current year individual data, including Division I winning percentage; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches ranking.
Four at-large qualifiers for each weight class will be added to the field when the full brackets are revealed during the NCAA.com Selection Show Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m.
125 – No. 5 Jeffrey Ott, Fr. (17-13)
133 – Shay Warren, Sr. (4-5)
141 – No. 2 Steven Keith, Sr. (25-6)
149 – Todd Preston, Fr. (5-6)
157 – No. 1 Walter Peppelman, Sr. (15-2)
165 – Devon Gobbo, Fr. (7-12)
174 – No. 7 Cameron Croy, Jr. (18-13)
184 – Josh Popple, So. (7-12)
197 – No. 2 James Fox, So. (10-3)
HWT – No. 8 David Ng, So. (7-8)
Below are 140 character or less notes on the Harvard wrestling team, perfect for sharing with your followers on Twitter. Follow @HarvardCrimson for all the latest news and notes on your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams or use the hashtag #GoCrimson to see what fans are saying about Crimson athletics.
- The @2013EIWARutgers was awarded 45 automatic bids to the 2013 NCAA Championships, 2nd most to the Big Ten's 74 bids
- 3 returning NCAA Qualifiers will be on the mat for @HarvardWrestling at @2013EIWARutgers in @WalterPeppelman, Steven Keith & James Fox
- .@HarvardWrestling boasts 20 EIWA Champions and has placed 163 on the podium. 16 EIWA champs have wrestled for @JTWCoach
- .@HarvardWrestling placed 5 on the podium at last year's EIWA Championships, the most since placing six in 2002
- .@HarvardWrestling closed its dual-meet season with 5 straight wins, its longest win streak since 2001
Harvard at the EIWA Championships
Harvard boasts 20 EIWA Champions and 163 EIWA placewinners in program history. The Crimson has crowned seven individual title holders over the last 11 years, and a total of 16 under Jay Weiss, the David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling. J.P. O'Connor '10 won the Crimson's last EIWA title in 2010 en route to the school's only undefeated season and the 157 lbs. NCAA Championship.
Harvard won its lone EIWA team championship in 2001 led by heavyweight Dawid Rechul '02, who was named the meet's most outstanding wrestler. Rechul and 133-pounder Matt Picarsic '01 won a pair of individual titles for the Crimson and were joined on the podium by Keven El-Hayek, Jesse Jantzen '04, Max Odom '03, Pat O'Donnell '03, Francis Volpe '00 and Reggie Lee '03.
Click here to visit the media center on GoCrimson.com to learn more about Harvard's history.
Harvard placed seven individuals on the All-Ivy League teams, the most for the Crimson since eight earned the award in 2001. Senior co-captains Walter Peppelman and Steven Keith headlined the list as first team selections, while sophomores James Fox and Ryan Osleeb were named to the second team. Junior Cameron Croy and freshmen Nicholas Gajdzik and Jeffrey Ott earn honorable mention nods. Click here to read the full story.
Rank and File
A pair of Crimson are currently featured in the InterMat individual rankings, including two-time All-American Walter Peppelman. The Harrisburg, Pa., native has won 13 straight matches to improve to 15-2 this season and finished with a 13-0 mark in dual meets. He is currently the seventh-ranked wrestler at 157 lbs. Steven Keith, who earned All-America status last season at 133 lbs., went 12-1 in duals with an overall record of 25-6 wrestling at 141 lbs. and comes in this week ranked No. 10.
History in the Making
Walter Peppelman became the seventh member of Harvard's 100-win club this season with a 4-2 decision in sudden victory over No. 17 Scott Winston of Rutgers. Steven Keith has since joined Peppelman in the club as he picked up a 7-3 decision against Brown's Cortlandt Choate. Peppelman currently ranks sixth in program history with 107 wins while Keith is seventh with 102 victories.
The last Crimson to reach 100 wins was 2010 NCAA Champion and current assistant coach J.P. O'Connor '10. O'Connor finished his career tied with Jesse Jantzen '04 for the most wins in program history at 132. All eight members of Harvard's 100-win club have been coached by Jay Weiss, The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling.
Related Link: Harvard Wrestling Media Center
Harvard closed its dual-meet schedule with five straight wins to finish the year with an 8-5 overall record and 5-4 in the EIWA. This marks the first time since 2000-01 that the Crimson has posted a winning record overall and in the conference, and marks the team's longest win streak since that same 2000-01 season.
Walter Peppelman posted a perfect 13-0 record in dual meets, becoming the first Crimson to go undefeated in dual-meet action since J.P. O'Connor '10 and Louis Caputo '09-10 did so in 2009-10. O'Connor was 15-0 in dual meets that season while Caputo finished the year 14-0.
Harvard's EIWA lineup features six talented underclassmen headlined by 2012 NCAA Qualifier James Fox. The sophomore missed the first half of the season due to an injury but has since improved to 10-3. Freshman Jeffrety Ott has started all season at 125 lbs. and has gained valuable experience wrestling five matches against nationally ranked opponents, including a 4-0 win over Maryland's Shane Gentry who was ranked 17th at the time. Fellow freshman Devon Gobbo also missed the first portion of the year due to an injury but boasts a 10-6 win over Northwestern's Pierce Harger, then ranked 11th, in his first collegiate match.
The Sights and Sounds of Harvard Wrestling
Jay Weiss, The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling, was wired for sound when the team opened its dual meet schedule against Rider on Jan. 5.
Harvard competed in four tournaments to begin the 2012-13 campaign, including the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. No. 10 Steven Keith placed in each of the first three tournaments to open the season, taking fifth at the BU Open, third at the Keystone Classic and fifth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Cameron Croy was fifth at the BU Open and second at the Keystone Classic, while Jeffrey Ott made his collegiate debut with a second-place finish at the BU Open before taking sixth at the Keystone Classic.