AKRON, Ohio-Four members of the Duke University wrestling team traveled to Akron, Ohio to compete in the ASICS University Nationals. The four wrestlers competed in the freestyle event over the course of three days.
Highlighting the event was the performance of senior John Barone in the 211.5 weight division and junior A.J. Guardado at 154.25 pounds. Barone came up just short of qualifying for the World Team Trials. Sophomore Peter Terrezza and redshirt freshman Diego Bencomo also competed.
Barone captured his first win over Sam Kuntz of Rutgers, winning by decision 3-1, 1-0. The Blue Devil senior dropped his next match before rebounding to earn three more wins in the consolation bracket.
He pinned his first opponent in the consolation bracket, needing just one minute to do so in the second period. Barone followed that with a technical fall (11-4, 4-8, 6-0) over Alex Thomas.
Barone's biggest win of the weekend came in the next round as he earned a technical fall over Cameron Simaz of Cornell University. Simaz recently finished third at the NCAA Championship at 197 pounds and finished the season with a 42-6 overall mark. Barone had his run through the consolation bracket stopped by Ryan Smith, losing by decision in two periods.
Guardado advanced to the second day of competition as well, advancing to the quarterfinal round before losing to Albert White of Oklahoma State. The native of West Covina, Calif., cruised in his first match before posting a thrilling win in three periods over Blake Hilmer.
He outlasted Hilmer 5-4 (0-3, 4-0, 1-1) to earn a spot in the quarterfinal round. Against White, he lost in a 7-2 decision (4-0, 3-2) to drop down to the consolation bracket. Guardado added one more win to his ledger before falling to Zach Clemente.
Terrezza entered the tournament in the 132.25 pound division and went 1-1 in a pair of matches. Bencomo competed at 185 pounds and finished the weekend with a 1-1 mark.
Helping coach the squad was senior Konrad Dudziak. Unavailable due to injury, Dudziak will be eligible to compete at the World Team Trials due to former placement.