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Bencomo Set to Take On No. 11 Seed Kirk Smith
Release: 03/09/2011
Photo Courtesy: Maddie Burke
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DURHAM, N.C.-The 330 selections for the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship were revealed this evening on a Web stream and Duke University redshirt sophomore Diego Bencomo was selected to take on No. 11 seed Kirk Smith of Boise State. Bencomo earned a spot in the NCAA Championship after earning one of three berths awarded to the ACC at 184 pounds.

Bencomo is Duke's 32nd wrestler all-time to earn a spot in the NCAA postseason event. He is the fourth Blue Devil to represent Duke at 184 pounds in the tournament and the second in the past three seasons to do so. The Phoenix native is 25-14 overall this season and 2-2 against ranked opponents on the year.

At the ACC Tournament, Bencomo upset top-seeded and No. 19 Jon Fausey with a 4-3 decision in the semifinal round to earn a spot in the title bout. Bencomo and Maryland's Corey Peltier battled hard in the championship match, but a late takedown by Peltier landed the Blue Devils in the runner-up spot. He was the 26th Blue Devil to earn All-ACC accolades.

Kirk Smith, a senior, heads into the NCAA Championship after taking runner-up honors home in 2010. His lone loss last season came in the title match as he finished with a 28-1 overall record as a junior. A three-time NCAA qualifier, Smith is 8-1 in dual matches and has wrestled just 10 times overall this season. His lone dual match loss was a medical forfeit against Oklahoma State on Feb. 11. Smith was ranked No. 1 for much of the season and is currently seventh in the InterMat poll.

The first session of wrestling commences on Thursday, March 17 at 11 a.m., at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The tournament is currently sold out of tickets. The tournament runs from March 17-19.


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