ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

Ladnier, Ott, Johnson Qualify for NCAAs at EIWA Championships

Ladnier, Ott, Johnson Qualify for NCAAs at EIWA Championships

Ladnier and Ott took second place at their weight classes (Robert Preston).

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bringing a close to the 113th EIWA Championships, three Crimson wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships, led by second-place performances from freshman Hunter Ladnier and senior Jeffrey Ott. Harvard tallied 63.5 points overall, good for 10th place as a team.

Excelling in his first conference tournament, Ladnier became the first Harvard freshman to advance to the EIWA finals since JP O'Connor '10, who later went on to win a national championship. Six Crimson student-athletes landed on the podium in total, and Harvard has multiple student-athletes going to the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in the past 19 years.

Ladnier took second at 149 pounds to book his ticket to the NCAA Championships. Following a pair of victories on Friday, Ladnier stepped to the mat and dispatched Lehigh's Laike Gardener, who was the top seed and 12th-ranked wrestler nationally, 11-7. Locked in a tight battle in the finals, Ladnier held an early lead against Princeton's Jordan Laster but a late takedown by Laster secured the victory for the Tigers, 8-5.

Ott also tallied a second-place finish, giving him his fourth time on the podium at 133 pounds in his career. The co-captain started the second day of action with a victory over Drexel's Kevin Devoy by injury default. Ott scored a pair of points after escapes in the final, but ultimately Lehigh's Scott Parker claimed the title in a 6-2 decision.

Junior Josef Johnson captured a sixth-place finish at 174 pounds, helping him advance to his second NCAA Championships. Subsequent to Friday's 1-1 tally, Johnson opened the second day of the conference championships with a 4-0 triumph by decision over Binghamton's Anthony Lombardo. A defeat to Penn's Casey Kent sent Johnson the fifth-place bout, which the co-captain dropped in a tight contest, 6-3.

Freshman A.J. Jaffe (141) collected seventh-place honors in his first conference tournament, going 3-2 overall. The St. Charles, Illinois native toppled Columbia's Jacob Macololooy in the seventh-place battle in a hard-fought 1-0 decision.

The Crimson also tallied a pair of eighth-place performances, with Kanon Dean (184) and Nicholas Gajdzik (285) earning a spot on the podium. Dean won two consecutive bouts to close the first day of action, but dropped a heartbreaker in the seventh-place match, 5-4, when his takedown at the buzzer was ruled too late by the referee. Gajdzik had a similar end to the opening action as Dean, and fell to Cornell's Craig Scott in the seventh-place match, 8-0.

Ladnier, Ott and Johnson will trek to St. Louis for the NCAA Championships March 16-18. The NCAA selection show is Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m., where the brackets will be revealed and 49 at-large berths will be awarded.

ACADEMIC INTEGRATION & COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS