CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard wrestling opens its season on Sunday at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open in Vestal, New York. The tournament, hosted by Binghamton, features 15 teams, including fellow EIWA members Army, Binghamton, Bucknell, Cornell, Franklin & Marshall and Lehigh.
What to Know
- Harvard heads into its first competition of the campaign with a roster that is highlighted by its wins leader and all-Ivy League performer from a year ago. Senior co-captain Hunter Ladnier is back at 157 pounds after posting a 22-11 record (5-2 dual) in 2018-19. Junior 133-pounder Lukus Stricker, meanwhile, was an honorable mention all-Ivy selection after he won 16 matches, including a team-high six in dual matches.
- Joining the aforementioned duo is senior Nolan Hellickson (125 pounds), who won 13 matches last year with five of those decisions coming during the dual season. The five victories in head-to-head team matchups were tied for the second most on the team with Ladnier.
- The Crimson welcomes nine first-years to the program, which is the largest class on the roster. The rest of the team consists of five sophomores, five juniors and five seniors.
- Harvard welcomed two new additions to its coaching staff in assistant coach Jimmy Sheptock and volunteer assistant coach Johnni DiJulius. Sheptock arrived in Cambridge after a three-year stint at Maryland, where the former All-American helped eight Terrapins reach the NCAA Championships. DiJulius, meanwhile, was at Kent State in a similar role after a successful collegiate career at Ohio State, where he helped the Buckeyes win a national title in 2014-15.
- Last season at the Bearcat Open, Harvard had a pair of wrestlers finish in the top five of their respective weight classes. Ladnier finished in a tie for fourth place at 157 pounds, while Joshua Kim came in fourth in the 165-pound weight division. Hellickson found himself just outside the top five, coming in sixth place (125 pounds).
- Harvard is coming off a campaign in which it posted the country's third-highest GPA, as announced by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The Crimson posted a cumulative GPA of 3.5468 and recorded its 17th top-10 ranking since the award's inception.
At The Helm
Jay Weiss, The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling, is beginning his 26th season at the helm of the program. The two-time EIWA Coach of the Year has a long history of coaching excellence on the mat and in classroom. Weiss has coached a pair of national champions, 17 EIWA champions and 19 All-Americans, while guiding his squad to the nation's top GPA in five of the last seven years.
Harvard returns to action on Nov. 24, when it travels to the City of Brotherly Love to compete at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.