Wrestling Opens Dual Meet Schedule at Home Versus Rider

Wrestling Opens Dual Meet Schedule at Home Versus Rider

The Crimson will host a free clinic prior to Saturday's dual against Rider (Gil Talbot).

The Harvard wrestling team will make its home debut against Rider this Saturday, Jan. 5 at 11 a.m. at the Malkin Athletic Center. The match will also mark the Crimson's dual-meet opener after competing in four tournaments to begin the year.

Watch Live Online
Harvard Athletics has announced that for the first time ever live and on-demand video will be available for each of the Crimson's five home wrestling duals. Ben Altsher and Andy Towne, the voices of Harvard men's and women's volleyball, will split play-by-play duties for the Crimson while two-time All-American Dustin DeNunzio '98 will provide in-depth analysis.

A season pass for all five of Harvard's home dual meets can be purchased for $29.95 while single-event subscriptions can be purchased for $9.95. All matches will be immediately archived for on-demand viewing and can be seen online at as well as on mobile devices and iPads.

Related Link: Harvard Game Central

Rank and File
Three Crimson are currently ranked by InterMat, including two-time All-American Walter Peppelman. The Harrisburg, Pa., native made his season debut last week at the Midlands Championships and entered the poll this week as the ninth-ranked grappler at 157 lbs. Steven Keith, who earned All-America status last season at 133 lbs., is 13-5 on the year wrestling at 141 lbs. and has moved up to No. 10 in the individual rankings. James Fox, meanwhile, will be making his first appearance of the year against Rider and is ranked 20th at 197 lbs.

Projected Lineup


Harvard (0-0, 0-0 EIWA)
Jeffrey Ott (9-8, 0-0)
Ryan Osleeb (4-6, 0-0)
No. 10 Steven Keith (13-5, 0-0)
Nicholas Stager (0-4, 0-0)
No. 9 Walter Peppelman (2-2, 0-0)
Devon Gobbo (4-2, 0-0)
Cameron Croy (12-7, 0-0)
Josh Popple (5-4, 0-0)
No. 20 James Fox (0-0, 0-0)
David Ng (4-6, 0-0)


Rider (3-1, 0-0 CAA)
Patrick Skinner (0-10, 0-3)
Jimmy Morris (16-6, 4-0)
Vinny Fava (9-8, 2-2)
Curt Delia (11-4, 3-1)
Zac Cibula (15-6, 3-1)
Ramon Santiago (15-5, 3-1)
James Brundage (9-5, 3-1)
Clint Morrison (10-8, 2-2)
Donald McNeil (11-7, 3-1)
Greg Vaelasco (5-6, 2-2)

Getting Clinical
Prior to Saturday's dual against Rider, assistant coaches J.P O'Connor and Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov will host a free clinic for youth wrestlers in the Malkin Athletic Center from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. All are welcome and no prior registration is required.

O'Connor was a three-time All-American for the Crimson and became the program's third national champion when he captured the 157 lbs. title at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Abdurakhmanov, meanwhile, was a two-time All-American at American University and a two-time junior college national champion at Colby Community College.

Top Plays introduced a new video feature to its lineup for the 2012-13 season, "Top Plays of the Month," counting down the greatest moments from your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams from the previous calendar month. Use the hashtag #CrimsonTop10 to nominate your favorite plays for inclusion.

Last Time Out
Two-time All-American Walter Peppelman made his return to the Harvard wrestling lineup Saturday as the Crimson turned in an impressive showing at the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. Harvard sent six student-athletes to the tournament which featured 14 teams that placed in the top-25 at the 2012 NCAA Championships.

Related Article: Harvard Wrestling Has Strong Showing at Midlands Championships

Climbing the Charts
No. 9 Walter Peppelman and No. 10 Steven Keith are working their way up Harvard's all-time ranks. Peppelman is currently seventh in program history with 94, wins while his 27 career falls are third most all-time. Keith, meanwhile, is ninth in program annals with 90 career victories as each is looking to join the Crimson's elite 100-win club.

Related Link: Harvard Wrestling Media Center

Tournament Tested
Harvard competed in four tournaments to begin the 2012-13 campaign, including last weekend's Midlands Championships. No. 10 Steven Keith placed in each of the first three tournaments to open the season, taking fifth at the BU Open, third at the Keystone Classic and fifth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Cameron Croy was fifth at the BU Open and second at the Keystone Classic, while Jeffrey Ott made his collegiate debut with a second-place finish at the BU Open before taking sixth at the Keystone Classic.

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 94 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 has moved up to 141 lbs. this season and enters the weekend ranked ninth in program history with 90 career victories.

Up Next
Harvard hits the road next weekend for three duals in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Crimson will first battle American Friday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in Washington, D.C., before heading to College Park, Md., to take on No. 20 Maryland and Stanford Saturday, Jan. 12.