The junior won the tournament title at 174 pounds (Gil Talbot).
JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. – Competing for the first time in 2016-17, junior Josef Johnson paced the Crimson at the Jonathan Kalhoust Bearcat Open with a second-place finish to open the season. Harvard also tallied top-five performances from senior Nicholas Gajdzik and freshmen Hunter Ladnier and A.J. Jaffe.
Johnson opened the tournament with a 3-2 decision over Robert Winning (Navy), and won in a sudden victory in both the third round and quarterfinals, taking down Anthony Deprez (Binghamton) and Sam Rowell (Maryland). The Piscataway, New Jersey native pinned Ohio's Dontae McGee at 3:43, but fell in the finals to Mark Hall of Penn State by major decision.
Gajdzik finished fifth in the heavyweight division, notching a trio of victories. The Rochester, Michigan native won by major decision (9-1) over Wyoming's Dan Herman in the second round after receiving a first round bye, and he followed up the performance with a victory by fall over Princeton's Christian Araneo in the quarterfinals. Gajdzik faced off with Araneo again in the fifth-place match, winning with a pin for the second time.
Ladnier and Jaffe also picked up fifth-place finishes at 149 and 141 pounds, respectively. Ladnier won by technical fall over Army's Lincoln Mallinger and Cornell's Ian McNitt in the opening rounds, and triumphed by major decision in the quarterfinals against Parker Kropman of Binghamton. He ended the day in fifth after winning by injury default over Lehigh's David Pipa. Jaffe toppled Julian Flores (Drexel), Charles Banaszak (Brown) and Patrick Quinlan (Franklin & Marshall) with a major decision and two decisions, and won by forfeit over Lehigh's Luke Karam to claim fifth.
Freshman Kyle Bierdumpfel registered five victories at 165 pounds, taking sixth place overall. Bierdumpfel rattled off four consecutive victories in the consolation rounds after pinning an opponent in his opening match, including three bouts of shutout wrestling. Sophomore Ryan Friedman, meanwhile tallied three wins at 133 pounds, while senior Jeffrey Ott picked up two victories in the same class.
Harvard wrestling returns to the mats on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia.