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Wrestling Travels to Columbia Friday, Will Host No. 25 Lehigh Sunday Live on ESPN3

Storyline
The Harvard wrestling team will close out the dual meet portion of its season this weekend as it takes on both Columbia and No. 25 Lehigh. The Crimson will first take to the mat Friday, Feb. 21 at Columbia at 6 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Harvard will then return to Cambridge to face Lehigh Sunday, Feb. 23 at 12 p.m. The dual versus the Mountain Hawks will be held at Lavietes Pavilion and will be simulcast on ESPN3, the WatchESPN App and the Ivy League Digital Network.

Last Time Out
The Harvard wrestling team used four sets of bonus points to cruise to a 30-10 victory last Saturday afternoon at Brown. Harvard took seven of the 10 bouts overall to earn the win, its second straight over Brown.

Related Links: Wrestling Picks Up 30-10 Win at Brown Thanks to Four Sets of Bonus Points

Inside the Series – Columbia
Harvard earned a 16-15 victory over Columbia last year in dramatic fashion, fighting back from a 15-9 deficit with two bouts remaining to finish the season on a five-match winning streak. The Lions own the all-time series, however, 48-32-2, and had previously won three straight against the Crimson.

Inside the Series – Lehigh
Harvard earned an equally dramatic victory against then 14th-ranked Lehigh a year ago, defeating the Mountain Hawks on their home mat, 25-16. The triumph snapped a 14-match losing streak which dated back to 1998 for the Crimson against Lehigh, and marked just the second victory ever for Harvard versus the EIWA foe.

Centennial Celebration
First established in 1913, the Harvard wrestling team is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013-14, making the Crimson one of the oldest collegiate wrestling programs in the nation. As part of that celebration GoCrimson.com is releasing the "Top Moments in Harvard Wrestling History," continuing this week with No's. 6-10.

Live From Lavietes
Harvard will host Lehigh in its final dual meet of the year at Lavietes Pavilion Sunday, Feb. 23 at 12 p.m. The match will be simulcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App as part of a partnership between Harvard and ESPN that will see 10 Crimson events this spring simulcast across the three platforms.

Related Link: ESPN to Broadcast Harvard Wrestling, Men's Lacrosse and Women's Lacrosse this Spring

Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, all four of Harvard's home dual meets will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch meets both live and On-Demand on their computers, tablets or smart phones, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all Harvard events throughout the duration of their subscription.

PURCHASE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TODAY!

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Projected Lineups

Wt.
125:
133:
141:
149:
157:

165:
174:
184:
197:

HWT:

Harvard (4-6, 3-6 EIWA)
Max Mejia (1-3, 1-3)
Jeffrey Ott (6-7, 5-3)
Todd Preston (17-8, 8-1)
Nicholas Stager (3-15, 1-9)
Tyler Grimaldi (12-14, 4-5) or
Paul Liguori (3-4, 2-2)
Devon Gobbo (10-6, 3-0)
Ian Roy (1-4, 1-4)
Cameron Croy (10-12, 4-6)
James Fox(12-7, 8-2)

David Ng (7-7, 3-1) or
Nicholas Gajdzik (4-7, 3-3)

Columbia (6-6, 3-5 EIWA)
Penn Gottfried (13-13, 3-9)
Angelo Amenta (15-9, 5-5)
Matt Bystol (16-9, 7-4)
Ryan Ponte (11-7, 4-4)
Markus Scheidel (21-9, 8-4)

Josh Houldsworth (19-10, 9-4)
No. 17 Shane Hughes (18-6, 8-4)
Zack Hernandez (18-8, 5-3)
Matt Idelson (6-11, 3-5) or
Troy Hembury (16-5, 9-3)
Connor Sweeney (9-11, 1-5)

 

No. 25 Lehigh (8-6, 4-2 EIWA)
Darian Cruz (16-7, 8-5)
No. 6 Mason Beckman (18-3, 13-1)
Laike Gardner (14-5, 10-3)
No. 13 Mitch Minotti (18-7, 8-6)
No. 12 Joey Napoli (10-2, 10-2) or
Mike Stepien (5-8, 0-2)
Ben Haas (5-8, 2-4)
No. 18 Elliot Riddick (16-9, 9-5)
Zach Diekel (16-11, 6-7)
John Bolich (15-9, 4-7)

Doug Vollaro (15-7, 4-5) or
Max Wessell (6-3, 2-2)

Dualing
Harvard opened its dual meet schedule with a 25-13 win at Rider, extending the team's dual-meet win streak to six matches dating back to last season and marking the team's longest win streak since taking seven in a row in 2000-01. The Crimson finished 2012-13 with an 8-5 overall record and 5-4 against the EIWA, marking the first time since that same 2000-01 season that Harvard has posted a winning record overall and in the conference.

The Crimson enters this weekend's bouts versus Columbia and Lehigh 4-6 overall, 3-6 in the EIWA. A weekend sweep of the EIWA foes give Harvard a .500 record for the year, marking the first time since 1997-2002 that the Crimson has finished .500 or better in consecutive years.

Young Guns
Harvard's starting lineup features just two seniors, three juniors and five underclassmen. Sophomore Todd Preston leads the squad with 17 victories on the year, with freshman Eric Morris posting 15 and Tyler Grimaldi having turned in 12 wins. Morris also leads the Crimson with nine bonus-point victories, picking up seven major decisions and two tech-falls.

Enshrinement
Harvard wrestling great Jesse Jantzen '04 has been chosen for induction into the EIWA Hall of Fame.

Jantzen will be one of four inductees from the Class of 2014 which also includes Kyle Dake (Cornell '13), David Pottruck (Penn '70) and Matt Valenti (Penn '07). The ceremony will take place Sunday, March 9 at 3:45 p.m. prior to the championship finals of the 110th EIWA Championships, being held this year at The Palestra.

Related Link: Jantzen '04 To Be Inducted Into EIWA Hall of Fame

Back to Business
Jay Weiss, The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling, discusses the team's preseason conditioning program and the tradition of running the Harvard Stadium stairs.

Guess Whose Back
Eight starters and 23 letterwinners from last year's squad which finished its dual meet schedule 8-5 overall, 5-4 in the EIWA, marking the program's first winning dual-meet record since it won the EIWA in 2000-01 and its first winning record in the conference since the same year. The 2012-13 version of the Crimson also placed eight on the podium at the EIWA Championships and earned seven All-Ivy League selections, again the most since 2001.

Adding Depth
Seven freshmen have joined the Crimson for the 2013-14 season; Zachary Dinan, Samuel Ekanem, Tyler Grimaldi, Colby Knight, Eric Morris, Colton Peppelman and Bradley Perkins.  The seven member class of 2017 hails from five different states, represents five different weight classes and is made up of three All-Americans, two state champions and a private school state champion.

Related Link: Seven Grapplers Will Join Harvard Wrestling for 2013-14 Season

Taking the Lead
Senior Cameron Coy and junior James Fox have been elected by their peers to serve as captains for the 2013-14 season. Croy was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection last year after going 20-16 at both 174 lbs. and 184 lbs., and placing eighth at the EIWA Championships as a 174-pounder. Fox, meanwhile, was named to the All-Ivy League second team and qualified for the NCAA Championships with a runner-up performance at the EIWA Championships.

"Both Cameron and James have shown their leadership potential at different times of their careers and we are expecting big things from them over the next year," stated Jay Weiss, The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling. "They will have a lot to do with the success of the program in the 2013-2014 campaign, as well as in future years."

Well Rounded Experience
The Harvard wrestling team was recognized as the top academic program in the country in 2012-13, marking the third time in four years the honor has been bestowed upon the Crimson. Under the tutelage of head coach Jay Weiss, Harvard has been ranked in the top 10 10 times and in 2011, the Crimson set the record for highest GPA among Div. I wrestling teams with a combined 3.5133.