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Harvard wins first ever EIWA Championship



In his 7th year as head coach of Harvard University, Jay Weiss has guided the Crimson from finishing at the bottom of the EIWA to the 2001 EIWA Championship. Using a solid team effort Harvard was able to overtake Penn and Lehigh to win their first ever EIWA Championship. The highest finisher ever for Harvard previously was third back in 1939. Harvard won with 123 points followed by Penn at 114 points then Lehigh at 109 points and Cornell rounded out the top four with 95 points. Harvard entered the finals with three finalists and came with two champions in Matt Picarsic and David Rechul. Picarsic won the 133lbs weight class with a 13-11 s.v. win over Juan Venturi of Princeton. Rechul, who was dominant throughout the tournament pinned Brown's Bronson Lingamfelter in a scant 1:41. Rechul had four falls in the tournament and for his efforts was named the meets most outstanding wrestler and the Sheridan award winner for most pins in the least time. The key to Harvard's team title was their ability to place eight wrestlers in the top five including three thirds a fourth and a fifth. Penn lead the team race after the semifinals when they were able to push four wrestlers into the finals. They were four for four in the championship finals but were unable to score the needed points in the consolation rounds. Penn's four champions included: Mason Lenhard, who took the 125lbs title with a 9-7 over Lehigh's Mario Stuart, Yoshi Nakamura, who cruised past Cornell's Leo Urbinelli 6-2 at 157lbs, Tim Ortman survived a tough 165lbs weight class when he defeated Ryan Bonfiglio 4-2 and Mike Fickell rounded out the Penn Champions, when he finished an impressive tournament in downing Corey Anderson of Cornell 11-3. Lehigh also entered the finals with four wrestlers but were able to only manage one champion in Dave Esposito at 149lbs. Esposito repeated his 2000 crown with an impressive 9-3 win over Harvard's Jesse Jantzen. It was Esposito's third straight win over the talented freshman. Esposito was the recipient of the Fletcher award, which is given to the wrestler, who scores the most points for his team during his career. Like Penn, Lehigh's failure to capitalize in the consolation rounds was their downfall in not repeating their championship. Lehigh was also hurt when number one seed Ryan Bernholz was upset in the semifinals by Leo Urbinelli and then fell again to Harvard's Max Odom and had to settle for fifth. Rutgers University turned in one of their finest performances ever at the EIWA Championships when they finished fifth in the team race. Tom Tannis became the first EIWA Champion from Rutgers since 1978 when he defeated defending champion Rob Rohn of Lehigh 10-7 in the finals. Other tournament champions included Navy's Mark Conly who squeaked out a 2-2 tiebreaker win over Lehigh's Matt Goldstein at 141lbs. and Army's Maurice Worthy took the title at 174lbs with a 6-3 win over Jim Stanec of Cornell. Worthy has now won 30 straight matches which is an Army record. Another notable story of the tournament was the emergence of Princeton. Their program was dropped and left for dead before alumni pushed and were able to have the program reinstated. The tigers have shown they have returned in a big way by finishing with two finalist and a third to send three guys to the NCAA tournament. For his team's efforts Jay Weiss was named EIWA Coach of the Year and will guide six wrestlers to the NCAA tournament at the University of Iowa.
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