ST. LOUIS—Duke University junior Konrad Dudziak made history today, advancing to the NCAA Championship Semifinals with a thrilling overtime sudden victory win in the quarterfinal match. Dudziak now is guaranteed All-America honors as a top-eight finisher in the nation, becoming Duke’s first All-America wrestler.
“It was a very exciting match,” head coach Clar Anderson said. “It’s a great mark for our program overall and I’m very happy for Konrad. He has worked very hard to get to this point.”
He will wrestle in the semifinal round tonight starting at 7 p.m. Fans can watch live coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com beginning at 7 p.m. For the third year, the semifinals will be featured in a side-by-side format, allowing both semifinals matches in each weight class to be seen at the same time.
Garnering a pair of wins in the first day of competition, fifth-seeded Dudziak met up with fourth-seeded Jared Rosholt in the quarterfinal round. Rosholt, who was ranked No. 1 for most of the season, defeated Dudziak earlier in the year at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
After a scoreless first period, Dudziak scored on an escape in just five seconds to take a 1-0 lead. The Bayonne, N.J., native controlled much of the rest of the period as he built up the riding time heading into the second session with a 1-0 lead.
Dudziak looked to increase his lead in the first minute of the third period, but was hit with a pair of stalling warnings. After the two warnings, the official awarded a point to Rosholt to make it a 1-1 match with one minute remaining.
Sporting a 1:56 advantage in riding time, it appeared Dudziak won the match with a 2-1 decision. As time expired in the match, the official awarded Rosholt with another escape to make it 2-2. After conferring with the timekeeper, the duo headed into a sudden victory overtime period.
In overtime, Dudziak quickly took a hold of Rosholt’s leg. As Rosholt tried to turn to defend, the Duke heavyweight responded with a two-point takedown for the 4-2 overtime win.
Dudziak is 30-2 overall on the season this year and 60-15 for his career. He will compete in the semifinals against top-seeded David Zabriskie of Iowa State. Zabriskie edged John Wise of Illinois 3-2 in the quarterfinal match and is 33-2 for the year.
Duke has sent 31 individuals to the NCAA Championship, including three this season. This is the furthest any Blue Devil has advanced in program history.