BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Harvard wrestling had a pair of student-athletes finish in the top 5 of their respective weight classes and had another place in its season-opening meet at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open.
Hunter Ladnier '20 led the way for the Crimson as the junior finished in a tie for fourth place at 157 pounds. Ladnier's start was rocky, getting pinned by Josh Humphreys of Lehigh (0:45) in his first match. Harvard's tri-captain, however, rebounded nicely by defeating teammate Aaron Kruk '20 by technical fall (16-0) and then advancing as a result of three straight wins by decision over Navy's Quentin Hovis (2-0), Lehigh's Brian Meyer (7-2) and Penn State's Bo Pipher (8-1). The four-match winning streak propelled Ladnier to the consolation semifinals where he ousted Adam Santoro of Cornell by major decision, 19-10. Ladnier's third-place match with Navy's Zachary Ervin was not contested, resulting in their tie-for-fourth-place finish.
Joshua Kim '22 made his presence felt in his first collegiate meet at 165 pounds. The freshman from Corona, Calif., came in fourth place, but made a run in the winner's bracket before moving to the consolation side. Kim won his first match by decision (6-0) against Trey Cornish of Lehigh and turned that momentum into another winning decision, this time by a 5-2 score, over Cornell's John Stawinski. The freshman nearly secured a spot in the championship match, but fell to Brown's Jonathan Viruet in a tiebreaker, 6-4. A consolation victory by decision (20-16) over Samuel Cokeley followed, putting Kim into the third-place match where he ultimately fell to Navy's Jonathan Carrera of Navy by major decision, 13-1.
Nolan Hellickson '19 was the third Crimson student-athlete to place on the first day of the season. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Hellickson produced a sixth-place effort after he, too, made a run at the title in the 125-pound weight class. The senior won by decision (9-5) over Jaret Lane of Lehigh and then followed that performance with a victory by technical fall (19-1) over Brown's Reese Fry. With a spot in the final on the line, Hellickson found himself on the wrong side of a 6-2 decision in his match with Binghamton's Audey Ashkar. Hellickson later lost his consolation semifinal to Jakob Camacho of NC State by major decision, 14-4, before medically forfeiting his fifth-place match.
- Ladnier earned a team-best 12.5 points at 157 pounds with Kim recording 9.5 points at 165. Hellickson, meanwhile, pocketed 7.5 points as a result of his sixth-place performance at 125.
- Lukus Stricker '21 garnered 3.5 points at 133 pounds. The sophomore went 2-2 on the day, defeating Austin Clabaugh of Penn State by decision (8-2) and Luis Hernenedez of Finger Lakes Prep by major decision (9-1).
- Trevor Tarsi '21 was a two-time winner in the season opener at 141 pounds. The Bethlehem, Pa., native won by decision in his first match vs. Lehigh's Brock Herring (4-3) and later dispatched Matt Swanson of Binghamton in the consolation round (9-6).
Harvard will return to the mats on Nov. 18, when it travels to the City of Brotherly Love to compete at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia, Pa.