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Wrestling To Face Stiff Competition Sunday at Keystone Classic

Harvard took fifth at last year's Keystone Classic with seven placewinners (Gil Talbot).

Storyline
The Harvard wrestling team will return to action Sunday, Nov. 18 against some of the toughest competition in the country at the 18th annual Keystone Classic. A total of 14 student-athletes currently ranked in InterMat's top-20 will be on the mat in Philadelphia, including Harvard's Steven Keith, the 13th-ranked grappler at 141 lbs.

A live video stream of the day's events will be available online through PennAthletics.com.

At the Keystone Classic
Harvard made its first appearance at the Keystone Classic a year ago and placed fifth after seven Crimson reached the podium. Walter Peppelman led the way by claiming the 157 lbs. title, the first tournament win of his career, while Steven Keith and Cameron Croy took second place at 133 lbs. and 184 lbs., respectively. Other placewinners included 197-pounded James Fox (3rd), 149-pounder Paul Liguori (5th), heavyweight David Ng (5th) and 125-pounder Joe Barbato (6th).

Schedule of Events

Championship First Round
Championship Second Round
Championship Quarterfinals / Consolation First Round
Consolation Second Round
Championship Semifinals / Consolation Third Round
Consolation Fourth Round
Consolation Semifinals
Championship Finals / Place Matches

9:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
5:15 p.m.
6:00 p.m.

Last Time Out
The No. 23 Harvard wrestling team placed three on the podium at last Sunday's Binghamton Open to kick start the 2012-13 campaign. Freshman Jeffrey Ott highlighted the Crimson's performance with a second-place finish at 125 lbs. in his first collegiate tournament. Steven Keith and Cameron Croy also earned a spot atop the podium, finishing fifth at 141 lbs. and 184 lbs., respectively.

Related Article: No. 23 Wrestling Puts Three on the Podium at Binghamton Open

Climbing the Charts
No. 13 Steven Keith is working his way into the Harvard record books and sits just outside the program's all-time top 10 for career wins with 81. Keith needs just seven more victories to match Joel Friedman's '99 mark of 88 wins for 10th place while also vying to become just the seventh Crimson to reach 100 wins. The senior co-captain posted 34 victories a year ago, tied for sixth-best in program history.

We're Back
Harvard returned 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.).

Adding Depth
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

Harvard Strong
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.