Klopp entered the tournament with a team-best 15 falls on the year and added two more pins en route to the title. After opening the day with a narrow 4-2 decision over Virginia Tech's Nick Vetterlein, the Lander, Wyo., native needed just 5:37 to win his next two matches. He posted a fall in 4:05 in the semifinal bout and was on the mat for just 1:32 in the championship tilt. Klopp is now 26-7 overall on the year and 22-6 in tournament matches.
Bencomo pushed his win streak to six matches with four wins in the 184-pound division. The Phoenix native cruised through his first two matches with a pin in 58 seconds and a 12-4 major decision. In the semifinals, Bencomo outlasted Angelo Malvestuto of Virginia Tech 8-5. He completed his run through the bracket with a 9-6 decision over UNC Greensboro's Elijah Adams. The four wins move Bencomo's record to 22-11 overall as he has won seven of his previous eight bouts.
Four other Blue Devils wrestlers garnered top-three finishes. Mike Bell took third at 141 pounds, while Brian Self and Willy Mello did the same in the 197 and 165-pound divisions, respectively. Wrestling unattached, Brandon Gambucci finished third at 133 pounds and Immanuel Kerr-Brown was fourth at 149 pounds.
Bell opened the tournament with a 5-2 decision and a 14-0 major decision before narrowly falling 4-2 to Appalachian State's Mike Kessler. In the consolation bracket, the senior captain cruised to a 7-1 decision to earn a spot in the third place match and then registered his third fall of the year to take third overall.
Self, fresh off of a dual match victory at NC State, pinned his first opponent before falling in a narrow 3-1 decision in the second round. That proved to be his final loss of the day as the freshman coasted to the consolation championship with a fall and two convincing decisions. Up against Virginia Tech's Bobby LaVelle in the third-place match, Self posted his 10th decision of the year, 3-1.
At 165 pounds, Mello dropped his opening bout to Justin Guthrie of Gardner-Webb, 6-5. The Chesapeake, Va., native came back in a big way with a pin of Appalachian State's Dominick Vetell to set up a rematch with Guthrie for third-place honors. Looking to avenge the one-point loss earlier in the day, Mello was outstanding as he picked up a 14-6 major decision to take home the third-place medal.
Competing for the first time in his collegiate career, Gambucci went 5-1 overall and posted two major decisions to earn third place overall at 133 pounds. His lone loss was a 5-3 setback against Virginia Tech's Erik Spjut. Kerr-Brown was also outstanding as he registered a 4-2 record on the day to take fourth. He pinned two opponents in the first period, while his losses came from a combined five points. Kerr-Brown is now 7-6 overall on the year.
Duke resumes its ACC schedule on Feb. 12 with matches at Virginia and Virginia Tech at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
(DU) Brandon Gambucci major dec. (Belmont Abbey) Patrick Mestrez, 12-1
(DU) Brandon Gambucci dec. (App. State) Acton PIfer, 2-0
(Va. Tech) Erik Spjut dec. (DU) Brandon Gambucci, 5-3
(DU) Brandon Gambucci major dec. (Va. Tech) Tom Reynolds, 11-2
(DU) Brandon Gambucci Inj. Def. (UTC) William Hayes
(DU) Mike Bell dec. (UTC) Trevor Herron, 5-2
(DU) Mike Bell major dec. (Liberty) Robert Leffew, 14-0
(ASU) Mike Kessler dec. (DU) Mike Bell, 4-2
(DU) Mike Bell dec. (UTC) Trevor Herron, 7-1
(DU) Mike Bell pinned (NEW) Brock Coutu
(DU) Chris Mullen tech. fall (ASU) Aaron Scott, 16-0
(VT) Cameron Hurd major dec. (DU) Chris Mullen, 11-2
(DU) Immanuel Kerr-Brown pinned (LIB) Kurtis Becker, 2:21
(GW) Morgan McDaniel dec. (DU) Immanuel Kerr-Brown, 4-3
(DU) A.J. Guardado pinned (ASU) Riley Keen,
(UNC) Nick Heilmann med. for (DU) A.J. Guardado
(UNCG) Santonio Thompson dec. (DU) Chris Mullen, 22-15
(DU) Immanuel Kerr-Brown dec. (CIT) Matthew Shotwell, 10-4
(DU) Immanuel Kerr-Brown pinned (UNCG) Santonio Thompson, 2:54
(DU) Immanuel Kerr-Brown dec. (NEW) Seiji Borja, 7-5
(GW) Morgan McDaniel dec. (DU) Immanuel Kerr-Brown, 7-3
(DU) Ryan Harding major dec. (BA) Trevor Steverson, 15-6
(VT) Taylor Knapp pinned (DU) Ryan Harding, 1:53
(NEW) Joseph Baird dec. (DU) Ethan Ruby, 5-0
(DU) Ethan Ruby dec. (ASU) Kaleb Forrest, 6-2
(DU) Ethan Ruby med. for. (DU) Ryan Harding
(LIB) Eric Reger dec. (DU) Ethan Ruby, 8-2
(GW) Justin Guthrie dec. (DU) Willy Mello, 6-5
(DU) Willy Mello med. for. (UNCG) Marc Bryan
(DU) Willy Mello pinned (ASU) Dominick Vetell
Third Place Match
(DU) Willy Mello major dec. (GW) Justin Guthrie, 14-6
(DU) Bret Klopp dec. (VT) Nick Vetterlein, 4-2
(DU) Bret Klopp pinned (UNCG) Terrence Zaleski, 4:05
(DU) Bret Klopp pinned (UTC) Levi Clemons, 1:32
(DU) Diego Bencomo pinned Gregory Kinner, :58
(DU) Diego Bencomo major dec. (CAMP) Josh Esparza, 12-4
(DU) Diego Bencomo dec. (VT) Angelo Malvestuto, 8-5
(DU) Diego Bencomo dec. (UNCG) Elijah Adams, 9-6
(DU) Brian Self pinned (ASU) Nicholas Shriner
(OU) Beau Wenger dec. (DU) Brian Self, 3-1
(DU) Brian Self pinned (Chowan) Will Jones, 5:37
(DU) Brian Self dec. (UNC) Andrew Phillips, 6-0
(DU) Brian Self dec. (GW) Travis Porter, 6-3
Third Place Match
(DU) Brian Self dec. (VT) Bobby LaVelle, 3-1
(KING) Garrett Fosdyck dec. (DU) Andrew Fulk, 3-2
(UNCG) Michael Gregory dec. (DU) Andrew Fulk, 4-3