Harvard has won four meetings in a row against the Bears (Robert Preston).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Honoring its senior class as it hosts its final Ivy opponent, Harvard wrestling welcomes Brown to the Malkin Athletic Center for a 6:30 p.m. tilt on Friday, Feb. 10. The dual will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Last Time Out
Taking the mats for a pair of Ivy League duals, Harvard wrestling fell to Penn, 27-17, and Princeton, 33-3. The Crimson moved to 2-7 on the season and 1-3 in the Ivy League.
Harvard opened the day at Penn, where a quartet of Harvard wrestlers posted victories. Hunter Ladnier (149) gave the Crimson an early 6-0 lead after pinning Joe Oliva at 5:17, which was his third win by fall this season. The Quakers responded to post five-straight wins before senior Nicholas Gajdzik (285) posted a victory by decision, 6-1, over Tyler Hall.
Full Recap: Wrestling Falls in Duals to Penn, Princeton
Harvard (2-7) has combined for 133 wins with 20 pins over five tournaments and nine duals, led by a 24-8 mark from Josef Johnson and double-digit wins from a quintet of wrestlers: seniors Nicholas Gajdzik and Jeffrey Ott and freshmen Kyle Bierdumpfel, A.J. Jaffe and Hunter Ladnier. Johnson placed in every tournament he appeared in, including top-three performances at the Jonathan Kaloust Open, Keystone Classic and Franklin & Marshall Open, which he won.
In the Rankings
Junior Josef Johnson has appeared in the national rankings at 174 pounds in both the NCAA Coaches Panel and InterMat Wrestling polls. With two wins over top-20 opponents this season, Johnson is slotted at No. 20 in the InterMat rankings and at No. 26 by the NCAA Coaches Panel.
Brown holds a 5-7 mark in dual action, including a 1-3 mark in the Ivy League. Jon Viruet (165) leads the team with a 23-12 record, while CJ LaFragola (184) is close behind with a 20-11 mark. The Bears most recently split duals with Princeton and Penn.
125 Connor Sakmar
125 Trey Keeley
*Rankings: NCAA Coaches' Panel/InterMat Wrestling
Inside the Series
Harvard leads the all-time series with Brown, 56-30-2, including wins in each of the last four meetings. The Crimson picked up a 25-10 triumph a year ago in Providence.
Off to a Fast Start
A trio of Harvard freshmen have posted multiple win streaks to start the dual slate. Kyle Bierdumpfel (165), A.J. Jaffe (141) and Hunter Ladnier (149) are a combined 15-6 in dual action, with each posting a winning streak of at least three bouts in a row to open the heads-up slate.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. The ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Success at 174
Johnson has posted a 24-8 record in 2016-17 to lead the team. An NCAA qualifier a year ago, Johnson rattled off six wins in a row to close the Keystone Classic and start the Midlands Championships, and five-straight at the Franklin & Marshall Open. The Piscataway, New Jersey native podiumed in each of his four tournaments, and is 57-38 in his career.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Harvard wrestling will be led by a trio of captains this season: seniors Nicholas Gajdzik and Jeffrey Ott and junior Josef Johnson. All three are in their first season in the leadership role.
In the Classroom
Excelling in the classroom as well as on the mat, the 2015-16 Harvard wrestling team posted the highest GPA in the nation, as announced by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The honor marked the 14th time Harvard landed in the top-10 since the award's inception.
At the Helm
Jay Weiss is in his 23rd season as the David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling. Weiss is a two-time EIWA Coach of the Year, and mentored a pair of national champions in Jesse Jantzen (2004) and JP O'Connor (2010). Under Weiss' watch, Harvard has tallied 17 EIWA champions and 19 All-Americans.
Harvard hits the road for Hofstra on Friday, Feb. 17 for its final EIWA dual of the regular season. The matchup will be broadcast by Hofstra GameCentral.