Preston leads the Crimson with 19 wins on the year and will look to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time (Gil Talbot).
A year's worth of training and four months of competition will come to fruition this weekend as the Harvard wrestling team takes to the mats at the 2014 EIWA Championships. 47 automatic qualifications to the NCAA Championships will be on the line at this year's tournament, which will take place Saturday, March 8 through Sunday, March 9 at The Palestra in Philadelphia.
What to Watch For
James Fox, Devon Gobbo and Todd Preston will be among the favorites to reach the podium and potentially secure themselves a trip to the NCAA Championships. Fox, a two-time NCAA Qualifier, will enter the tournament seeded fourth with a 14-7 overall record including five major decisions and two falls, having won eight straight matches and 10 of his last 12. The junior was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League first team a week ago, and was the runner-up at 197 lbs. at last year's EIWA Tournament.
Gobbo has been in-and-out of the Crimson lineup this season but when healthy is one of the top 165-pounders in the conference. The sophomore reached the Round of 12 at the Midlands Championships and picked up a 9-6 decision against then-12th ranked Ramon Santiago of Rider along the way, and defeated Santiago a second time a week later when he was ranked No. 19, 6-4. Gobbo, who placed seventh as a freshman at EIWA's and is seeded seventh this year, is 10-6 overall for the year.
Preston, an All-Ivy League second team selection and the fourth seed at 141 lbs., leads the squad with a 19-8 record having won six straight bouts and 10 of his last 11. He began his year with a second-place showing at the Keystone Classic, and followed that performance with a trip to the round of 12 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite. Preston has defeated two nationally ranked opponents along the way, then No. 8 Joey Lazor of Northern Iowa (1:12) and then No. 20 Shyheim Brown of Maryland (4-0), and is 10-1 against EIWA opponents on the year.
How To Watch
Fans can watch the 2014 EIWA Tournament in its entirety thanks to Flowrestling as part of its Flo Pro live streaming programming. Every match of the tournament will be available for viewing, starting with the championship first round at 10 a.m. on March 8 and concluding with the single-mat championship finals on March 9 at 4 p.m.
For those not already subscribed to the Flo Pro service, a monthly subscription costs $20.00 and a yearly subscription costs $150.00. To sign up, please click here.
Schedule of Events Saturday, March 8
NCAA Berths At Stake
Each of the wrestlers competing at the EIWA Championships will also be vying for a spot at the 2014 NCAA Championships, being held this year March 20-22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. The NCAA announced the qualifier allocations for the tournament last week, with the EIWA receiving 47 automatic bids, second only to the Big Ten Conference's 74. Each conference qualifying tournament was awarded a specific number of spots per weight class based on current year individual data, including Division I winning percentage; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches ranking.
Four at-large qualifiers for each weight class will be added to the field when the full brackets are revealed during the NCAA.com Selection Show Wednesday, March 12 at 6 p.m.
125: Max Mejia, Jr. (1-5)
133: No. 7 Jeffrey Ott, So. (6-9)
141: No. 4 Todd Preston, So. (19-8)
149: Nicholas Stager, So. (3-17)
157: Tyler Grimaldi, Fr. (12-16)
165: No. 7 Devon Gobbo, So. (10-6)
174: Ian Roy, Sr. (1-6)
184: Cameron Croy, Sr. (10-13)
197: No. 7 James Fox, Jr. (14-7)
HWT: David Ng, Jr. (8-8)
Harvard at the EIWA Championships
Harvard boasts 20 EIWA Champions and 171 EIWA placewinners in program history. The Crimson has crowned seven individual title holders over the last 12 years, and a total of 16 under Jay Weiss, the David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling. J.P. O'Connor '10 won the Crimson's last EIWA title in 2010 en route to the school's only undefeated season and the 157 lbs. NCAA Championship.
Harvard won its lone EIWA team championship in 2001 led by heavyweight Dawid Rechul '02, who was named the meet's most outstanding wrestler. Rechul and 133-pounder Matt Picarsic '01 won a pair of individual titles for the Crimson and were joined on the podium by Keven El-Hayek, Jesse Jantzen '04, Max Odom '03, Pat O'Donnell '03, Francis Volpe '00 and Reggie Lee '03.
Click here to visit the media center on GoCrimson.com to learn more about Harvard's history.
Leaving a Legacy
Jay Weiss, The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling, is in his 20th season at the helm of the Crimson. A two-time EIWA Coach of the Year, Coach Weiss has mentored two national champions, 16 EIWA champions and 19 All-American's during his 20 seasons at the helm of the Crimson, and has also seen his teams rank No. 1 academically in three of the last four years.
First established in 1913, the Harvard wrestling team is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013-14, making the Crimson one of the oldest collegiate wrestling programs in the nation. As part of that celebration GoCrimson.com released the "Top Moments in Harvard Wrestling History," concluding this week with No's. 1-5.
- #25-#21 (released Jan. 8)
- #20-#16 (released Jan. 22)
- #15-#11 (released Feb. 5)
- #10-#6 (released Feb. 19)
- #5-#1 (released March 5)
Harvard wrestling great Jesse Jantzen '04 has been chosen for induction into the EIWA Hall of Fame.
Jantzen will be one of four inductees from the Class of 2014 which also includes Kyle Dake (Cornell '13), David Pottruck (Penn '70) and Matt Valenti (Penn '07). The ceremony will take place Sunday, March 9 at 3:45 p.m. prior to the championship finals of the 110th EIWA Championships, being held this year at The Palestra.
Related Link: Jantzen '04 To Be Inducted Into EIWA Hall of Fame
Harvard placed three individuals on the All-Ivy League teams, highlighted by James Fox's unanimous selection to the first team. Fox earned his second straight All-Ivy honor after being named to the second team a year ago. Todd Preston was recognized on the second team for his first All-Ivy honor while David Ng also picked up his first accolade with selection as an honorable mention.
Live From Lavietes
Harvard hosted Lehigh in its final dual meet of the year at Lavietes Pavilion, with the meet being simulcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App. The broadcast was part of a partnership between Harvard and ESPN that will see 10 Crimson events this spring simulcast across the three platforms.
Taking the Lead
Senior Cameron Coy and junior James Fox have been elected by their peers to serve as captains for the 2013-14 season. Croy was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection last year after going 20-16 at both 174 lbs. and 184 lbs., and placing eighth at the EIWA Championships as a 174-pounder. Fox, meanwhile, was named to the All-Ivy League second team and qualified for the NCAA Championships with a runner-up performance at the EIWA Championships.
"Both Cameron and James have shown their leadership potential at different times of their careers and we are expecting big things from them over the next year," stated Jay Weiss, The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling. "They will have a lot to do with the success of the program in the 2013-2014 campaign, as well as in future years."
Well Rounded Experience
The Harvard wrestling team was recognized as the top academic program in the country in 2012-13, marking the third time in four years the honor has been bestowed upon the Crimson. Under the tutelage of head coach Jay Weiss, Harvard has been ranked in the top 10 10 times and in 2011, the Crimson set the record for highest GPA among Div. I wrestling teams with a combined 3.5133.