CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Senior co-captain Walter Peppelman became just the seventh wrestler in Crimson history to reach 100 career wins Sunday with a dramatic 4-2 sudden victory decision over No. 17 Scott Winston of Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights, however, won seven of 10 weight classes to defeat Harvard in the team scores, 26-9.
Peppelman, the eighth-ranked wrestler at 157 lbs., found himself trailing early as Winston got in on a leg for an early takedown. An escape point for Peppelman before the first period expired moved the score to 2-1 and the senior easily escaped from his down starting position in the second to even the bout. Neither grappler was able to generate offense for the remainder of regulation, sending the two into the extra session.
It appeared as though the score would remain tied through the first sudden victory period until a shot by Peppelman with under 0:10 remaining found its mark. Peppelman was then able to gain control of Winston near the edge of the mat just before the buzzer sounded, giving him the 4-2 decision.
Rutgers (12-2, 5-0 EIWA) built a solid lead in the team scores at the next three weights, earning a decision at 165 lbs. and major decisions at 174 and 184. James Fox ended Harvard's (2-4, 0-3 EIWA) drought at 197, picking up a 12-8 decision after dominating the match early with several takedowns. Heavyweight Nicholas Gajdzik looked to make it two in a row as his third-period escape sent him into overtime with Billy Smith tied at 1-1, but Smith was able to ride Gajdzik out in the tiebreakers to register the 2-1 victory.
The 125 lbs. bout came down to the wire as well as Joseph Langel just edged Jeffrey Ott, 7-5. After trailing 4-1 early, Ott worked his way back into the match with a late reversal and was forced to cut Langel with under 0:20 to go. Ott got in on a low single off the restart but did not have enough time to finish before the buzzer.
At 133 lbs., Ryan Osleeb and Vincent Dellefave found themselves tied heading into the final minute of action and Rutgers came away with a familiar result, as Dellefave connected on a high single to emerge with a 4-2 win.
Todd Preston closed the day out with a hard fought 3-1 decision at 149 lbs. After a scoreless first period, Preston rode Ken Theobold for 1:09 before Theobold took a 1-0 lead with an escape. Preston chose to begin the third period neutral and was able to counter a Theobold shot at the edge of the mat, giving him the 3-1 margin with riding time.
Harvard will close out the month of January next weekend as it travels to West Point, N.Y. to take on Army Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m.
157: No. 8 Walter Peppelman (HU) dec. No. 17 Scott Winston (RU), 4-2 SV1, 3-0
165: Nick Visicaro (RU) dec. Devon Gobbo (HU), 11-4, 3-3
174: No. 16 Greg Zannetti (RU) maj. dec. Cameron Croy (HU), 12-3, 3-7
184: No. 13 Dan Rinaldi (RU) maj. dec. Josh Popple (HU), 18-5, 3-11
197: James Fox (HU) dec. Hayden Hrymack (RU), 12-8, 6-11
HWT: Billy Smith (RU) dec. Nicholas Gajdzik (HU), 2-1 SV1, 6-14
125: Joseph Langel (RU) dec. Jeffrey Ott (HU), 7-5, 6-17
133: Vincent Dellefave (RU) dec. Ryan Osleeb (HU), 4-2, 6-20
141: Trevor Melde (RU) fall No. 10 Steven Keith (HU), 2:56, 6-26
149: Todd Preston (HU) dec. Ken Theobold (RU), 3-1, 9-26