Fermin Mendez is the 2009-10 recipient of the Becky Family Unsung Hero Award. Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.
The Harvard wrestling team recently announced its awards for the 2009-10 wrestling season. Three of the awards handed out were voted on by the team, while the final two were selected by the coaches.
Freshman Steven Keith picked up two awards from the team, the Henry Russell Ames Award for the most improved wrestler and the Most Promising Freshman Award. Keith compiled a 20-12 overall record at 125 and 133 pounds. He finished third at the EIWA Championships at 125 pounds and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Senior co-captain Louis Caputo also walked away with two honors as he was presented with the Hardest Worker Award as voted on by the team and was a co-recipient of the Richard Sullivan Award, which is awarded to the wrestler who has given the most back to Harvard throughout his career. Caputo was a four-time NCAA qualifier and two-time All-American. Caputo won the 184 pound EIWA title in 2008 and served as team captain three times.
Senior co-captain J.P. O’Connor also the other recipient of the Richard Sullivan Award. O’Connor, the 2010 NCAA Champion at 157 pounds, was a three-time All-American for the Crimson. He shares the all-time wins record at Harvard with another NCAA Champion, Jesse Jantzen ’04. He was a two-time Ivy League Wrestler of the Year, only Harvard grappler to accomplish that feat, and the EIWA Wrestler of the Year. O’Connor was a two-time captain for the Crimson.
Junior Fermin Mendez picked up the final award for 2009-10, earning the Beck Family Unsung Hero Award. The award, voted on by the coaches, is presented to the wrestler who doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Mendez competed in 19 matches for the Crimson this season wrestling at 125, 133 and 141 pounds.
The Richard Glover and Henry Russell Ames Memorial awards are in memory of two sons who gave their lives to save their father at sea. The Henry Russell Ames Award is given to the wrestler who has shown the most improvement and the Richard Glover Ames Award is given to the most outstanding wrestler and individuals "who have shown energy in helping themselves and who exhibit as well the sterling character and the inspiring leadership that were the qualities of Richard and Henry Ames".