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Bencomo, Klopp Capture Titles at Appalachian State Open
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/29/2011
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Diego Bencomo
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BOONE, N.C.-The duo of redshirt freshman Bret Klopp and redshirt sophomore Diego Bencomo led the Duke University wrestling squad with a pair of titles at the Appalachian State Open today at Varsity Gym. Klopp earned his second tournament championship at 174 pounds, while Bencomo captured his first top finish of the season at 184 pounds.

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.

133 Pounds

(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

Third-Place Match

(DU) Brandon Gambucci Inj. Def. (UTC) William Hayes

141 Pounds

(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

Third-Place Match

(DU) Mike Bell pinned (NEW) Brock Coutu

149 Pounds

(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

Third-Place Match

(GW) Morgan McDaniel dec. (DU) Immanuel Kerr-Brown, 7-3

157 Pounds

(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

165 Pounds

(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

174 Pounds

(DU) Bret Klopp dec. (VT) Nick Vetterlein, 4-2

(DU) Bret Klopp pinned (UNCG) Terrence Zaleski, 4:05

Championship Match

(DU) Bret Klopp pinned (UTC) Levi Clemons, 1:32

184 Pounds

(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

Championship Match

(DU) Diego Bencomo dec. (UNCG) Elijah Adams, 9-6

197 Pounds

(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

285 Pounds

(KING) Garrett Fosdyck dec. (DU) Andrew Fulk, 3-2

(UNCG) Michael Gregory dec. (DU) Andrew Fulk, 4-3


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