Photo of Walter Peppelman courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Harvard's Walter Peppelman secured All-America status Friday evening and will wrestle for seventh place tomorrow morning at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Peppelman is Harvard's 25th All-American and 17th under the David G. Bunning Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling Jay Weiss. This year marks the sixth straight year the Crimson has had at least one All-American.
The sophomore co-captain went 3-1 on the day with two decisions and a fall. Peppelman earned a 10-7 win in his third match-up of the year against DJ Meagher. Peppelman scored first against Meagher but was reversed and turned for back points, after fighting off a near pin, Peppelman escaped to make it 5-2 and rode out Meagher the entire second period for accumulate riding time. In the final period, Peppelman turns bottom and is turned for more back points. Meagher is chipping away at the riding time, but Peppelman gets out and quickly puts his offense to work, taking Meagher down and turning him for three back points.
In his second match this afternoon, Peppelman wasted little time, scoring a quick take down over David Bonin of Northern Iowa and then turned him to his back in 39 seconds for remain alive in the tournament.
In a must win match against 12th-seeded Paul Young, Peppelman came-from-behind to earn a 6-4 victory and guarantee All-America honors. About an hour later, Peppelman faced top-seeded Adam Hall to determine which place he will wrestle for. He led 10-4 in the second period when he went in for a shot and was taken down and turned for a fall.
He will face Bryce Saddoris of Navy in the seventh-place match. With a 4-2 record in the tournament and a 32-8 overall record, Peppelman ranks seventh on the Harvard single season wins list with 32.
Sophomore Steven Keith fell at 125 pounds to Trent Sprenkle of Eastern Michigan, 10-5, in the morning session. Sprenkle scored an early takedown and earned near fall points after getting Keith in a very painful position. Keith chose to take top in the second period. He turned his opponent for back points and rode him out the entire period. After starting neutral in the third, Keith went in for a shot and was taken down. He scored on a reversal to make it 9-5 late in the second but was unable turn Sprenkle.
Keith finishes his sophomore campaign with a 23-17 overall record and a 1-2 mark at his second NCAA Championships.
Wrestling begins at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.