Akron, Ohio - Three Harvard wrestlers competed at the 2009 ASICS University and FILA Cadet National Championships on the campus of the University of Akron April 23-26. Crimson All-American J.P. O'Connor finished third at 74 kg., to lead the Harvard squad.
O'Connor was anxious to get on the mat after a disappointing NCAA Championships where he fell one round shy of earning his third All-America honors. The Oxford, N.Y., native did not disappoint in his first competition on the mat in more than a month. O'Connor went 4-1 en route to a third-place finish at 74kgs. He won his first three matches of the tournament including a win by pin against Adam Sarnicki of the Akron Wrestling Club. His only loss of the tournament was to semifinalist Ryan Morningstar of HWC, 3-0, 1-0. Morningstar was an All-American at Iowa in the 165 pound weight class. In the consolation bracket, O'Connor grappled his way back to the podium with wins over Jake Kerry of the HWC and Neil Erisman of Gator Wrestling. Seventy athletes competed at 74 kgs., including collegiate wrestlers that grappled at 157 and 165 pounds for their schools.
Freshman Spencer DeSena had a good showing, going 2-2 at 120kgs. He lost his first match to Cameron Wade of Penn State, but bounced back with wins over Joseph Sheffield, 1-0, 4-1 and Michael Landis, 3-0, 7-0. DeSena was knocked out of the tournament after losing a tough match to Steve Larson of the Falcon Training Club, 5-0, 1-1.
Rookie Walter Peppelman also had a solid effort on the mat despite his 1-2 record at 70 kgs. Peppelman made short work of Christian Fagan of Pitt, pinning him in 26 seconds. The Harrisburg, Pa., native lost his next two matches in very close fashion. The first was a 2-1, 1-0 defeat at the hands of Albert White and a 1-0, 0-1, 2-0 loss to Andrew Stella. Peppelman competed against a very large field of 70 wrestlers.
Walter Peppelman ~ 70kg
W Christian Fagan of Pitt Pin (0:26)
L Albert White 2-1,1-0
L Andrew Stella 1-0, 0-1, 2-0
J.P. O'Connor ~ 74 Kg
W Adam Sarnicki of Akron Wrestling Pin 6-0,0:40
W Matt Kaylor of Binghamton 2-0, 3-0
Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh Valley 2-1, 1-0
L Ryan Morningstar 3-0, 1-0
W Jake Kerry (HWC) 1-1, 2-3, 1-0
W Neil Erisman of Gator Wrestling 1-1, 2-0, 1-0
Spencer DeSena ~ 120 Kg
L Cameron Wade (Penn State) 3-0, 6-0
W Joseph Sheffield of Y.E.S. Wrestling Club 1-0, 4-1
W Michael Landis of All Navy Wrestling 3-0, 7-0
L Steve Larson (Falcon Training Club) 5-0, 1-1