WASHINGTON – Hosting a tripleheader on Sunday, the American University wrestling team earned a pair of wins, defeating VMI, 31-13, and Harvard, 22-19. Meanwhile, Harvard scored a 31-12 victory over VMI in the first dual of the day.
The Eagles (5-2) won seven of 10 bouts against the Keydets, getting out to a hot start with back-to-back technical falls. Junior David Terao, ranked 18th nationally at 125 pounds, scored a 16-1 tech fall at the end of the second period to give AU an early 5-0 lead, while younger brother Josh Terao added a 16-0 second-period technical fall at 133 pounds.
Freshman Michael Sprague scored a 2-0 decision in the 141-pound match to push American's lead to 13-0. Sophomore Tom Page registered a first-period fall at 149 pounds for the Eagles, while junior team captain John Boyle (157) racked up the points early in a 20-3 technical fall.
American dropped its next two bouts against VMI, as the Keydets (3-5) scored a decision and a fall at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively. However, the Eagles got back in the win column with a decision by sophomore Jason Grimes at 184 pounds and a major decision by sophomore Brett Dempsey at 197 pounds. VMI closed out the dual with a major decision to bring the final score to 31-13.
The Eagles began their match versus EIWA foe Harvard with a 6-0 lead due to a forfeit by the Crimson at 125 pounds. Josh Terao increased AU's lead with a major decision before Harvard got on the board with a decision by 16th-ranked Todd Preston at 141 pounds.
American rebounded with wins in their next two matches to increase their margin. Page scored a 7-0 decision in his match, while Boyle had an explosive performance against his opponent, scoring a fall in just 10 seconds.
However, the Crimson (1-2) battled back, scoring major decisions in the next two bouts to cut the Eagles' lead to 19-11. At 184 pounds, Grimes scored an 8-7 decision that came down to the wire, giving American an 11-point cushion heading into the final two bouts.
Harvard won each of the last two matches by major decision, but it was not enough to overcome the Eagles' early lead.
"[After our OU loss], we talked about attitude more than anything," said American head coach Teague Moore. "There are always things you can work on technically, but if you don't have the attitude, if you don't have the fight, it's going to make your matches pretty tough. We came out with fight today.
"In the VMI match, we saw that right away with the Teraos and we followed it as a team. In the Harvard match, we came out with the same fight and the vigor, but unfortunately in some of our later matches, we started trying to hold on. We got through it, but we need to learn from that, and I think we will."
The Eagles return to action on Friday, Jan. 16, when they visit EIWA opponent Navy in a 7 p.m. dual.
American 31, VMI 13
125: No. 18 David Terao (AU) tech fall Dalton Henderson, 16-1 (5:00)
133: Josh Terao (AU) tech fall Hunter Starner, 16-0 (4:51)
141: Michael Sprague (AU) dec. Emmitt Kelly, 2-0
149: Tom Page (AU) fall Jack Krall, 1:08
157: John Boyle (AU) tech fall Sam Paulay, 20-3 (2:24)
165: Shabaka Johns (VMI) dec. Brad Mutchnik, 6-0
174: Mark Darr (VMI) fall Nick Carey, 4:54
184: Jason Grimes (AU) dec. Derek Thurman, 2-0
197: Brett Dempsey (AU) maj. dec. Urayoan Garcia, 9-1
HWT: Juan Adams (VMI) maj. dec. Scot Augustine, 14-3
American 22, Harvard 19
125: No. 18 David Terao (AU) win by forfeit
133: Josh Terao (AU) maj. dec. Ryan Osleeb, 10-1
141: No. 16 Todd Preston (HAR) dec. Michael Sprague, 6-1
149: Tom Page (AU) dec. Nick Stager, 7-0
157: John Boyle (AU) fall Tyler Tarsi, 0:10
165: Tyler Grimaldi (HAR) maj. dec. Brad Mutchnik, 11-3
174: Josef Johnson (HAR) maj. dec. Nick Carey, 16-5
184: Jason Grimes (AU) dec. Michael Mocco, 8-7
197: No. 11 James Fox maj. dec. Brett Dempsey, 18-5
HWT: David Ng (HAR) maj. dec. Scot Augustine, 10-1