The Crimson placed six on the podium at last year's Binghamton Open (Gil Talbot).
The No. 23 Harvard wrestling team will open the 2012-13 season this Sunday, Nov. 11 when it takes to the mat at the Binghamton Open. The Crimson placed six on the podium at last year's tournament, its highest total since the event's inception in 2008.
Harvard returns 18 letterwinners from last year's squad including nine starters, four EIWA placewinners and three NCAA qualifiers. Senior co-captains Walter Peppelman (29-7, 157 lbs.) and Steven Keith (34-11, 141 lbs.), who were both All-Americans a year ago, headline the group and are joined by sophomore James Fox (21-14, 197 lbs.) who made his first appearance at Nationals as a freshman.
Junior Cameron Croy (19-15, 184 lbs.) returns as a two-time EIWA placewinner. Paul Liguori (13-7, 149 lbs.) will also be back on the mat after an injury shortened his season a year ago, as well as sophomores David Ng (9-18, HWT) and Josh Popple (8-8, 174 lbs.).
Harvard welcomed the addition of eight freshmen for 2012-13, including two national prep champions, one New England prep champion and three state champions.
"What a great group of young men. I am so excited for them all to join our family up here at Harvard," Jay Weiss, the David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling stated. "They are such a talented group but even better people. We are already a young team but this now makes us a strong, young team. This group is definitely going to make a big impact."
Related Article: Eight Grapplers Will Join Harvard Wrestling for 2012-13 Season
Rank and File
Harvard opens the year ranked 23rd in the nation according to InterMat's preseason tournament-strength rankings, marking the squad's highest preseason ranking in recent history. Three Crimson also appear in InterMat's individual pole, with senior co-captains Walter Peppelman and Steven Keith coming in at No. 6 and No. 8 at 157 lbs. and 141 lbs., respectively. Sophomore James Fox is ranked 20th at 197 lbs.
* Peppelman will not compete during the fall semester.
Note: The InterMat team and individual rankings will be used as GoCrimson.com's primary source for rankings. Other rankings are listed above for reference.
The Harvard wrestling team used an intense offseason conditioning program to prepare for the 2012-13 season which included hours spent in the weight room and running the stairs of Harvard Stadium.
Captaining the Ship
Seniors Walter Peppelman and Steven Keith were voted by their teammates as captains for the 2012-13 season. Peppelman, serving as captain for a third straight season, has placed eighth at the NCAA's as a 157-pounder each of the last two seasons. His 92 career wins rank seventh in program history while his 27 falls rank third.
Keith earned All-America status for the first time last season with an eighth-place performance at 133 lbs. He will move up to 141 lbs. this season and enters the year with 77 career victories, 11-shy of 10th place in Harvard history.