Wrestling Kicks Off Ivy Slate with Columbia, No. 9 Cornell

Harvard opened its dual slate at Pitt a week ago (Robert Preston). 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its second-straight weekend at the Malkin Athletic Center, Harvard wrestling opens its Ivy slate on Saturday, Jan. 28 when Columbia and No. 9 Cornell make their way to Cambridge. The action is set to begin at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively, and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Last Time Out
Opening its home slate at the Malkin Athletic Center, Harvard wrestling split a pair of dual contests with Franklin and Marshall, 36-6, and Bucknell, 16-24, on Saturday afternoon.

Freshmen Hunter Ladnier (149) and Kyle Bierdumpfel(165) and junior Josef Johnson posted perfect 2-0 records on the afternoon, while nine student-athletes won at least one bout. The Crimson also picked up three victories by fall over the two duals.

Recap: Wrestling vs. Franklin & Marshall, Bucknell
Jan 21, 2017

Scouting Harvard
Harvard has combined for 119 wins with 19 pins over five tournaments and five duals, led by a 22-6 mark from Josef Johnson and double-digit wins from a quintet of wrestlers: seniors Nicholas Gajdzik and Jeffrey Ott and freshmen Kyle Bierdumpfel, A.J. Jaffe and Hunter Ladnier. Johnson placed in every tournament he appeared in, including top-three performances at the Jonathan Kaloust Open, Keystone Classic and Franklin & Marshall Open, which he won.

Scouting Columbia
The Lions are 2-7 overall in dual action, while starting EIWA play with a 1-2 record. Garrett Ryan has tallied 17 victories in the heavyweight class to lead the team, while Tyrel White has posted 14 of his own at 165 pounds.

Scouting No. 9 Cornell
Cornell is the lone undefeated team in EIWA action at 3-0, while posting a 7-2 record overall. Ranked No. 9 nationally, the Big Red is led by Gabe Dean at 184 pounds, who holds a 21-0 record and is ranked No. 1 nationally. The Big Red has three other wrestlers in the top-20 nationally.

Probable Lineups




125 Connor Sakmar
133 Jeffrey OttSamuel Goldman
141 A.J. JaffeRyan Friedman
149 Hunter Ladnier
157 Colby KnightZeth Dean
165 Kyle BierdumpfelPeter Bearse
174 Josef JohnsonRico Stormer
184 Kanon Dean
197 Logan KirbyL.J. Barlow
285 Nicholas GajdzikAngus Cowell

125 Johnson Mai
133 Alec Kelly
141 Jacob Macalolooy
149 Dan Reed, Sam Ward
157 Laurence Kosoy, Tyler Ponte
165 Tyrel White
174 Max Elling, Donny Donnelly
184 Jacob Young, Donny Donnelly
197 Matt Doggett, Michael Bulkin
285 Garrett Ryan

125 Noah Baughman, Dalton Macri
133 Jacob Lehr
141 Will Koll
149 Joey Galasso, Dylan Realbuto
157 Taylor Simaz
165 Dylan Palacio, Brandon Womack
174 Brian Realbuto
184 Gabe Dean
197 Owen Scott
285 Jeramy Sweany

Inside the Series
Harvard trails the all-time series with Columbia, 33-50-2, but won last year's meeting in New York, 22-14. The all-time series with Cornell tilts in the Big Red's favor, 9-53. Harvard picked up its last series victory in 2001, a 28-13 triumph in Cambridge.

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 22-6 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, and five-straight at the Franklin & Marshall Open. The Piscataway, New Jersey native podiumed in each of his four tournaments, and is 55-36 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.

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 hits the road Feb. 4 for a pair of Ivy League matchups at Penn and Princeton. The first bouts are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, and will be shown on the Ivy League Digital Network.