Wrestling Travels to Franklin & Marshall Open

Wrestling Travels to Franklin & Marshall Open

Ladnier has won 10 matches at 149 pounds (Robert Preston). 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its final tournament before the start of dual matchups, Harvard wrestling treks to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the Franklin & Marshall Open on Saturday, Jan. 7. The action will get underway at 9 a.m. in the Alumni Sports and Fitness Center.

Last Time Out
Bringing an end to the 2016 Midlands Championships, junior Josef Johnson added one victory to his Thursday total to finish in eighth-place overall. He was Harvard's top-placing wrestler for the third time this season, as he posted a pair of second-place results earlier this season. Harvard finished 29th overall at the Midlands Championships, as five student-athletes posted points towards the team score.

Full Release: Johnson Finishes Eighth at Midlands Championships

Scouting Harvard
Harvard has combined for 72 wins with 11 pins over four tournaments, led by a 13-5 mark from Josef Johnson and a 10 wins apiece from freshmen Hunter Ladnier and A.J. JaffeNicholas Gajdzik has also tallied nine wins while placing in two tournaments. Johnson has placed in every tournament he has appeared in, including top-three performances at the Jonathan Kaloust Open and the Keystone Classic.

About the Tournament
350 wrestlers, including a handful in the lastest ranking, from nearly 30 programs will compete at the 2017 Franklin & Marshall Open. Action on Thursday will get underway at 9 a.m., with the action wrapping up around 6 p.m.

Last Year's Event
Three Crimson student-athletes won their weight classes in 2016, including senior Nicholas Gajdzik (Hwt). Todd Preston '16 and Devon Gobbo '16 also posted individual victories after running the table at 141 and 165 pounds, respectively. Additionally, nine other grapplers found their way onto the podium.

Enter Freshmen
A trio of freshmen kicked off their careers with four or five victories at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat open: Jaffe (141), Ladnier (149) and Kyle Bierdumpfel (165). Jaffe and Ladnier took fifth with four victories apiece, while Bierdumpfel triumphed five times en route to a sixth-place result. Ladnier followed up the performance with a sixth-place result at the Keystone Invite, while Jaffe led the Crimson in advancing to the second day at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite.

Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. The ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.

Success at 174
Johnson has posted a 13-5 record in 2016-17 to lead the team. An NCAA qualifier a year ago, Johnson rattled off six wins in a row to close the Keystone Classic and start the Midlands Championships. The Piscataway, New Jersey native has podiumed in each of his three tournaments. Johnson is 46-35 in his career.

Oh Captain, My Captain
Harvard wrestling will be led by a trio of captains this season: seniors Nicholas Gajdzik and Jeffrey Ott and junior Josef Johnson. All three are in their first season in the leadership role.

The Class of 2020
Harvard wrestling announced the addition of seven newcomers for the 2016-17 campaign: Kyle BierdumpfelZeth DeanDonovan DoyleA.J. JaffeAaron KrukHunter Ladnier and Connor Sakmar. The seven incoming freshmen hail from six different states and will compete in five separate weight classes.

In the Classroom
Excelling in the classroom as well as on the mat, the 2015-16 Harvard wrestling team posted the highest GPA in the nation, as announced by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The honor marked the 14th time Harvard landed in the top-10 since the award's inception.

At the Helm
Jay Weiss is in his 23rd season as the David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling. Weiss is a two-time EIWA Coach of the Year, and mentored a pair of national champions in Jesse Jantzen (2004) and JP O'Connor (2010). Under Weiss' watch, Harvard has tallied 17 EIWA champions and 19 All-Americans.

What's Next?
Harvard heads to the Pitt Duals Jan. 14, where the Crimson will square off with No. 16 North Carolina State, Binghamton and No. 18 West Virginia.