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Wrestling Heads to ACC Championships Saturday
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/02/2012
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ACC Wrestling Championships
March 3, 2012 l 11 a.m.
Chapel Hill, N.C. l Carmichael Arena

ESPN3 Mat 2 l ESPN3 Mat 1 w/ Finals l Realtime Brackets l ACC Championships Page

Team Notes
Duke enters the ACC Tournament with a 3-10 overall dual match record and an 0-5 record against ACC foes ... The Blue Devils garnered wins over Bridgewater State, Gardner-Webb and Davidson.

25 NCAA Bids Handed out to ACC
The NCAA announced the qualifier allocations for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with the Atlantic Coast Conference being awarded 25 automatic spots, including multiple qualifiers in eight of the 10 weight classes ... The ACC was awarded four qualifiers each in the 125- and 141-pound weight classes. Three spots were awarded to the conference at 133, 157 and 165. The 149-, 174- and 184-pound weight classes earned two spots apiece ... There will be 40 at-large qualifiers announced after the conclusion of the conference championships around the country.

Duke In The ACC
A member of the ACC in wrestling since 1956, Duke's highest finish in the ACC Tournament was third place five times and most recently in 2004 ... Twenty-one different Duke wrestlers have won 29 ACC titles overall ... Joel Puleo is the Blue Devils' lone competitor to win three consecutive championships, bringing home top honors at heavyweight in 1973, 1974 and 1975 ... Five other wrestlers captured consecutive championships during their careers ... Duke has nine ACC titles at heavyweight, two at 184 pounds and one at the 174, 133 and 125-pound classifications ... Duke has had 26 All-ACC selections since teams were compiled in 1986 ... Blue Devils redshirt junior Diego Bencomo earned All-ACC recognition a year ago after taking home runner-up honors at 184 pounds.

Recapping 2011 ACC Championships
Duke took sixth overall at the 2011 ACC Championships with Diego Bencomo leading the way with a runner-up performance ... Bencomo upset No. 19 Jon Fausey in the semifinal round to earn a spot in the title match ... Overall, Duke scored nine points on the day.

Pins Leader
Freshman Tanner Hough is Duke's pins leader this season with nine for the year ... He registered falls in three consecutive dual matches and had five overall for the year in the first period ... His fastest pin came in 30 seconds against Hunter Carroll of Campbell.  



Hunter Carroll, Campbell


Daniel Barker, Bridgewater State


Taylor Wickett, Limestone


Tony Donati, Campbell


Robert Golde, Gardner-Webb


Michael Crowley, Old Dominion


Benjamin Hartshorn, Davidson


Eric Tozzi, Belmont Abbey


Taylor Moeder, Old Dominion


Tournament Placings
Duke captured 27 top-five finishes this season in tournament action ... The Blue Devils garnered five titles overall ... Brandon Gambucci placed among the top four in four different tournaments to lead the way for Duke.

Bencomo Aiming for Return Trip to NCAAs
Redshirt junior Diego Bencomo will be aiming to be the 11th Blue Devil all-time to earn multiple berths in the NCAA Championships ... Bencomo was a NCAA quarterfinalist in 2011 after getting one of the ACC bids to the championships ... If he advances to the NCAA postseason, he will be the fifth wrestler under head coach Clar Anderson's tutelage to do so in consecutive seasons.

Points Leaders
Redshirt junior Diego Bencomo and true freshman Tanner Hough are two of Duke's top point scorers this season ... Bencomo has 36 points in his nine victories, while Hough has scored 34 points in his eight victories.

ACC Lineup Point Breakdown







Peter Terrezza





Brandon Gambucci





Tanner Hough





A.J. Guardado





Immanuel Kerr-Brown





Ryan Harding





Randy Roden





Diego Bencomo





Brian Self





Robert Mello




Guardado Wins Close Matches
Redshirt senior A.J. Guardado is 8-3 in dual matches this season ... All eight of the victories were by decision, with five of them coming by three or fewer points.

Youth Movement
Duke features a young lineup this season with six of the 10 spots being filled by underclassmen ... The Blue Devils have true freshmen competing at 141 and 174 pounds, redshirt freshmen at 133 and 157 and sophomores in the 165 and 197 divisions ... The underclassmen have accounted for 105 of Duke's 201 points in dual matches this season.

Leading Off the Mat
Redshirt freshman Immanuel Kerr-Brown is developing into a young leader for the Blue Devils ... The Rome, Ga., native was picked to participate in a leadership conference this summer at the U.S. Olylmpic Training Center ... FLAME, Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere, is a program that brought together minority athletes from around the country. They talked about how to prepare for their future after sports, got advice from Olympians who have succeeded on the biggest stages and learned about what it takes to be a leader.

Noting Diego Bencomo
Redshirt junior Diego Bencomo has competed in just 12 matches this season and is 9-3 in those bouts ... Bencomo did not compete during the first semester of action and missed the Southern Scuffle due to injury ... He returned to Duke's lineup against The Citadel, earning a major decision, 15-6 ... Bencomo, looking for his second consecutive NCAA Championships bid suffered just one loss in the ACC  this season to North Carolina ... He suffered an injury against Jon Fausey of Virginia and did not finish the match ... He is 57-30 overall for his career and 7-6 in ACC matches.

Noting A.J. Guardado
Redshirt senior A.J. Guardado is having a memorable senior season ... The West Covina, Calif., native owns a career-high 18 wins and garnered runner-up honors at the Davidson Open ... Guardado posted  a career-best 8-3 record in dual matches this season ... His 18 wins are eight more than he had in any of his previous seasons.

Noting Brandon Gambucci
Redshirt freshman Brandon Gambucci has had a strong first official season for the Blue Devils ... Gambucci sports a team-high 21 wins with a 21-9 overall record ... He has gone up against four ranked opponents, including Virginia Tech's Devin Carter three times ... In the regular season match against Carter, Gambucci led the bout heading into the third period before Carter eventually earned a pin.

Noting Tanner Hough
Freshman Tanner Hough has been outstanding for the Blue Devils this season at 141 pounds ... Hough is tied with Brandon Gambucci with a team-best 21 victories .. He also leads the team in falls with nine, including five in the first period ... Against ACC foes, Hough went 2-3 with wins against Maryland and Virginia.

Noting Peter Terrezza
Duke's leader, redshirt junior Peter Terrezza enters his third ACC Championships with a 19-12 record this season ... He went 2-1 in ACC matches this year after missing the Virginia and Virginia Tech duals to injury ... His wins were against Maryland and NC State.

Noting Robert Mello
Junior Robert Mello jumped into the starting lineup January 26 against Campbell after starting heavyweight Andrew Fulk tore his anterior cruciate ligament ... Mello, wrestling up from 197, has gone 3-4 at heavyweight and garnered an ACC victory over NC State's Josh Davis, 1-0 ... Mello, who follows in his brother Willy's footsteps at Duke, is 5-8 overall on the year.

Noting Randy Roden
Freshman Randy Roden is one of two true freshmen in the Duke lineup ... The Rome, Ga., native is a former high school teammate of Duke's 157-pounder Immanuel Kerr-Brown ... He finished the regular season with a 13-19 record and went 3-10 in dual matches.

Noting Immanuel Kerr-Brown
Redshirt freshman Immanuel Kerr-Brown moved up to 157 pounds this season ... He competed the first part of the year at 149 before making the jump at the Davidson Classic, where he finished third overall ... Kerr-Brown is 9-14 at 157 and 19-18 overall for the year.

Noting Brian Self
Sophomore Brian Self is in the starting lineup at 197 pounds for the second consecutive season ... Self missed parts of last season to injury, but has anchored the 197 division all year in 2012 ... He is 7-16 overall for the year.

Noting Ryan Harding
Sophomore Ryan Harding also is back in the starting lineup for the second straight season ...  Harding led Duke at 157 pounds a year ago before making the move to 165 ... He is 19-17 overall for this season and has seven falls, the second most on the team.