Peppelman and Keith highlighted the Crimson's performance at the Binghamton Open with a pair of third-place finishes (Gil Talbot).
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Six Crimson wrestlers earned a spot on the podium as the Harvard wrestling team opened its 2011-12 season Sunday at the Binghamton Open.
Junior co-captain Walter Peppelman paced the Crimson with a third-place finish at 157 lbs. He opened the day with a 6-2 win over Jesse Shanaman, who was wrestling unattached, before earning a 12-0 major decision against Hofstra's Tyler Banks. Peppelman lost a close 6-5 decision to 11th-ranked Justin Lister from Binghamton in the semifinals, but returned in the wrestlebacks to pin Rider's Ramon Santiago just 37 seconds into the match. The 2011 NCAA All-American took out Jonny Greisheimer from Edinboro, 9-7, in the third-place match.
Junior Steven Keith also earned a third-place finish, recording five victories at 133 lbs. including a 12-1 major decision over Penn's C.J. Cobb in the third-place match. Keith began the tournament with a 5-2 win over Cobb, then dispatched Hofstra's Joe Gosinski, 8-5, and Binghamton's Dan Riggi, 6-0, to advance to the semifinals. He was beaten by Justis Flamio, wrestling for the New York Athletic Club, in the semi's by a 4-2 score in overtime, before taking out Jamie Franco of Hofstra, 7-0, to earn the chance to wrestle for third.
Sophomore Cameron Croy nearly kept pace with Peppelman and Keith but dropped 5-3 decision to Binghamton's Nate Schiedel in the third-place match to take fourth. Croy made easy work of John McArdle from Middlesex County College in his first match with a 20-4 major decision. He and Schiedel met up in the next round, with the Bearcat taking a 4-2 victory. Croy's run in the wrestlebacks included a 14-3 major decision over Princeton's Dan Santoro, a pin of Brown's Ophir Bernstein at the 1:20 mark, and a 6-3 decision against Ryan Callahan from Princeton to move to the third-place match.
149-pounder Paul Liguori turned in the Crimson's best finish of the day by taking second. The junior was dominate in his run to the finals, pinning Edinboro's Sensation LaRocca at the 2:19 mark in the first round before taking out Brown's Kenny Staub with an 11-1 major decision. Ligouri earned his second fall of the day just 1:40 into his match against Ben Price of Binghamton and then defeated Brown's Zack Kulczychi by major decision, 12-4. Ligouri dropped an 8-4 decision to Cornell's Craig Eifert in the finals to finish second.
Freshman James Fox took fourth at 197 lbs. Fox defeated Donald McNeil of Rider, 6-1, in the first round and Tim Murphy of Hofstra, 11-5, in the second. He was knocked from championship contention via a 9-4 decision by Binghamton's Cody Reed but rebounded in the wrestlebacks with a 4-1 win over McNeil. Brown's Sterling Hecox defeated Fox in the third-place match by a score of 15-8.
Heavyweight David Ng rounded out Harvard's placewinners by taking sixth. Ng opened his day with a 3-2 win over Penn's Stephen Graziano and advanced to the semifinals with a 3-2 win in the first set of tiebreakers over Evan Craig of Rider. Ng was bounced from the championship race by Binghamton's Nick Gwiazdowski, 8-2, before dropping a 2-1 decision to Hofstra's Paul Snyder in his first round of wrestlebacks. In the fifth-place match, Ng was defeated by major decision, 8-0, by Stryker Lane of Cornell.
Harvard will return to action Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia, Pa.