NEW YORK – In front of a packed house at the University Gym Friday night, the Columbia wrestling team won seven bouts, five with bonus points, to run away with a 33-10 victory against the visiting Harvard Crimson. Prior to the match, the Lions honored 2013 All-American Steve Santos.
Penn Gottfried started the Lions off with a strong performance in the 125-pound bout. Within the first minute of the bout, Gottfried had a 5-0 lead on Max Mejia thanks to a takedown and three-point nearfall. Another takedown and two-point nearfall near the end of the second period made it a 9-0 Gottfried advantage. In a powerful showing, Gottfried scored an escape and takedown midway through the third period and then finished off the bout early with another three-point nearfall to record the tech fall.
At 133 pounds, Harvard’s Jeffrey Ott maintained a 2-0 lead heading into the final period, but Columbia’s Angelo Amenta recovered with an exceptional final two minutes. A takedown 56 seconds into the period by Amenta tied the match at 2-2. With the clock ticking down, Amenta tookcontrol of the bout, holding Ott for the three-point nearfall. He would add the riding time point for the 6-2 decision, putting Columbia ahead 8-0.
Harvard got on the board when Todd Preston winning the 141-pound bout in a tiebreaker, but the Lions came right back with Ryan Ponte claiming a 3-2 decision at 149 pounds.
More bonus points followed for Columbia in each of the next four bouts. Markus Scheidel was up next at 157 pounds, rushing out to a 6-2 lead in the opening period with two takedowns and a two-point nearfall. He and Tyler Grimaldi each scored two points in the second period, but Scheidel would tally a 4-0 third period to capture the 12-4 major decision.
The first of three straight six-point wins came next for Columbia at 165 pounds. No 27. Josh Houldsworth was in control the whole way against Brennan Smith, leading 8-0 midway through the second period, but he put the exclamation point on the bout with a pin at 4:21.
Ian Roy looked to have the early advantage in the 174-pound bout for Harvard, but No. 16 Shane Hughes showed why he is so dangerous with a pin out off a reversal. Following a Roy takedown, Hughes escaped from a cradle on the ground, quickly spinning around to put his opponent on his back for the fall just 60 seconds into the bout.
Zack Hernandez was poised to make it three straight falls for the Lions, but a referee meeting took the pin away. Hernandez overpowered Cameron Croy and slammed him to the ground in what looked to be a fall for the Lion, but the referee called off the pin and awarded a takedown and two-point nearfall. Croy, though, was injured on the takedown and the Lions earned six points via injury default to extend its lead to 33-3.
The Crimson would close the match with two wins to bring the final score to 33-10.
Columbia concludes the regular season on Sunday when Brown visits University Gym. The match is slated for a 3 p.m. start with the Lions honoring their seniors in a pre-match ceremony.