PHILADEPHIA – Harvard wrestling posted a strong effort in its second meet of the year on Sunday, recording a pair of third-place finishes at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia, Pa. Hunter Ladnier and Joshua Kim took third at 157 and 165 pounds, respectively.
Ladnier, a junior, opened his morning by dismissing Bo Pipher of Penn State with a 4-1 decision to move onto the quarterfinals where he defeated Penn's Joe Oliva, also by decision, 5-4. As the morning turned to afternoon, Ladnier was slowed temporarily, dropping a 6-5 decision to Evan Barczak of Drexel. The team tri-captain, however, answered by beating Pipher for a second time by decision (4-0), sending Ladnier to the third-place match. The Rocky River, Ohio native completed his day with a victory by way of an 11-6 decision over Jon Errico of Penn.
Kim, meanwhile, enjoyed his second straight successful showing in just his second meet of his career. The first-year pinned AJ Geers of Penn at 1:21 in the round of 16 and then earned a 7-1 decision in his bout with Joe Accousti of Appalachian State. Misfortune awaited in the semifinals as he was pinned by Vincenzo Joseph (2:31), but the Corona, Calif., product came back to the mat to win by decision (13-6) in a match with Appalachian State's Micheal Elliott. Then as the tournament wrapped up late Sunday night, Kim earned a 3-2 decision against Evan Deluise of Penn.
Clifton Wang narrowly missed joining Ladnier and Kim in the third-place column, but the sophomore was on the short end of an 8-0 major decision against Duke's 184-pounder Kaden Russell. Hailing from Scarsdale, N.Y., Wang opened with a decision (4-2) over Michael Fagg-Daves of Rider, fell in the semifinals, but answered with a victory by decision (6-5) in his match with Penn State's Franny Bisono, setting up the showdown with Russell.
- Ladnier recorded his best individual finish of the season (third) one week after coming in a tie for fourth place at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open in Binghamton, N.Y.
- Kim has a pair of top-5 performances in as many meets to open his Harvard career. The freshman finished in fourth place last week.
- Nolan Hellickson advanced to the semifinals of the 125-pound weight class, defeating Justin Lopez of Penn State by major decision (9-0) and Appalachian State's Andy Richard by decision, 4-3. The senior dropped his consolation semifinal match, but was the beneficiary of a forfeit to finish in fifth place.
- Lukus Stricker took sixth place at 133 pounds. The sophomore won his quarterfinal contest vs. Herb Edwards of Rider by decision, 3-0.
- Evan Callahan was a sixth-place finisher while competing at 285 pounds. The sophomore from Bethlehem, Pa., fell in the quarterfinal round, but then rebounded to defeat Trey Momon of VMI by decision, 7-4, in the consolation round.
The Crimson will break for the Thanksgiving holiday, but return to action on Nov. 30, for the two-day Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.