The wrestling team (7-6, 4-5 EIWA) used the Homecoming meet to snap a three-meet losing streak Friday night, picking up two falls and a default due to injury en route to a 33-10 victory over Harvard (4-7, 3-7 EIWA).
Before the meet, the team honored Steve Santos, the 2013 All-American who placed third at last year's NCAA tournament. In a University Gym packed with wrestling alumni, friends, and family, the Lions took control from the opening whistle and secured the win with three bouts to spare.
After the meet, head coach Carl Fronhofer said he was proud of his team for bouncing back after last weekend's tough road trip at Princeton and Penn.
“The performance was tremendous,” Fronhofer said. “I talk to the guys all the time about it—this is a sport of passion, it's a combat sport. You can't win if you're not passionate about it.”
“So clearly they were inspired tonight, and they got a good win.”
Senior Penn Gottfried kicked things off at 125 pounds with a 15-0 technical fall. Sophomore Angelo Amenta and junior Ryan Ponte won decisions at 133 and 149, respectively, while the team's wins leader, first-year Markus Scheidel, took a 12-4 major decision at 157, righting himself after a disappointing previous weekend.
Consecutive pins from No. 27 senior co-captain Josh Houldsworth at 165 and No. 16 junior Shane Hughes at 174 put the crowd on its feet and the Lion victory on lock.
The night's most bizarre bout came at 184. Sophomore Zack Hernandez, trying to get back in the win column after a couple of tough losses last weekend, found himself locked in a tough match with Cameron Croy.
At one point, Croy lunged at Hernandez's legs just as Hernandez moved to grab Croy. They collided, hard. Hernandez recovered and put Croy on his back before realizing his opponent was unconscious.
The bout was stopped. Croy finally got up, eliciting cheers from the crowd. After consulting with Croy and the coaches, the referee awarded Hernandez the win by injury default but not by fall, reversing his initial call.
That brought Columbia's lead to 33-3. Harvard won a major decision at 197 and a decision at 285 to bring the final score to 33-10, but the meet had long been decided.
The Lions will honor their seniors and finish their season against Brown at 3 p.m. on Sunday.