CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Heavyweight David Ng and 125-pounder Jeffrey Ott earned two key victories late in the dual to help the Harvard wrestling team to a come-from-behind 24-17 win over Rider Saturday afternoon at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Harvard, competing in its first dual meet of the year, improved to 1-0 with the win while Rider fell to 3-2. This marks the second straight year that Harvard has topped Rider in the squad's dual-meet opener.
The meet began at 149 lbs. where Curt Delia put the Broncs on top with a 20-4 technical fall over Alexis Wagener. Harvard responded quickly at 157 lbs. as two-time All-American Walter Peppelman, currently ranked ninth in the country, pinned Patrick Sabatini just 10 seconds into their bout to put the Crimson in front 6-5.
Rider's Ramon Santiago picked up a 7-4 decision over Devon Gobbo at 165 lbs. to regain the lead for the Broncs before Cameron Croy gave the advantage right back to the Crimson, 9-8, with a 6-3 decision over James Brundage at 174 lbs. Harvard's lead was short lived, however, as Clint Morrison and Donald McNeil turned in back-to-back decisions at 184 lbs. and 197 lbs., respectively, for a 14-9 Rider margin.
The momentum swung back in Harvard's favor after Ng registered 2-1 victory over Greg Velasco. The two wrestled to a 1-1 tie after regulation and an escape by Ng in the first set of tiebreakers proved to be the difference. Ott then put the Crimson out in front by an 18-14 margin with a fall over Patrick Skinner at the 1:02 mark.
Jimmy Morris recorded a 5-4 decision over Ryan Osleeb at 133 lbs. but a forfeit at 141 lbs. gave the meet to the Crimson, 24-17.
Harvard hits the road next weekend for three duals in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Crimson will first battle American Friday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in Washington, D.C., before heading to College Park, Md., to take on No. 20 Maryland and Stanford Saturday, Jan. 12.
149 – Curt Delia (RU) tech-fall Alexis Wagener (Harv), 20-4 (6:10), 0-5
157 – No. 9 Walter Peppelman (Harv) fall Patrick Sabatini (RU), 0:10, 6-5
165 – Ramon Santiago (RU) dec. Devon Gobbo (Harv), 7-4, 6-8
174 – Cameron Croy (Harv) dec. James Brundage (RU), 6-3, 9-8
184 – Clint Morrison (RU) dec. Josh Popple (Harv), 9-2, 9-11
197 – Donald McNeil (RU) dec. No. 20 James Fox (Harv), 8-2, 9-14
HWT – David Ng (Harv) dec. Greg Velasco (RU), 2-1 TB1, 12-14
125 – Jeffrey Ott (Harv) fall Patrick Skinner (RU), 1:02, 18-14
133 – Jimmy Morris (RU) dec. Ryan Osleeb (Harv), 5-4, 18-17
141 – No. 10 Steven Keith (Harv) win by forfeit, 24-17