DES MOINES, IOWA—Duke University’s Brandon Gambucci and Conner Hartmann made their debut at the NCAA Wrestling Championships as the duo dropped a pair of matches to end their seasons. Both wrestlers dropped heart-breaking overtime losses to finish day one of competition.
Gambucci and Hartmann both suffered a pair of losses against seeded foes to fall to the wrestlebacks. In the consolation brackets they battled evenly through the seven minutes, but could not come up with the win as they fell in the sudden victory session.
Gambucci, competing at 133 pounds, opened the day against reigning national champion and top-seeded Logan Stieber of Ohio State. The redshirt sophomore battled hard, but Stieber picked up his 13th fall of the year with one second left in the first period.
In a consolation pigtail match, the Mansfield, Ohio native prolonged his season with a 4-2 decision over Devon Lotito of Cal Poly. The victory matched Gambucci up against Hofstra redshirt junior Jamie Franco. Neither Gambucci nor Franco traded shots throughout regulation and headed to overtime tied 4-4. However, it was Franco delivering the winning takedown 26 seconds into the overtime session to move on in the wrestlebacks and end Gambucci’s season. Gambucci finishes the year 19-7 and earned All-ACC recognition after taking second at the ACC Championships.
At 197 pounds, Hartmann started his day against No. 7 seed Nathan Shiedel of Binghamton. The Bearcat wrestler scored an early takedown and took control of the first period with a 2-0 lead. Schiedel escaped to start the second stanza and added three more takedowns and a bonus point for riding time for the 10-1 major decision.
The wrestlebacks featured an ACC Championship semifinal rematch between Hartmann and Maryland’s Christian Boley. The Terrapin edged Hartmann 3-1 to advance two weeks prior in his home arena. This evening’s match was even closer as Hartmann and Boley headed to overtime all square at 2-2. In the sudden-victory session, Boley was able to get the winning takedown and advance with a 4-2 decision. Hartmann finishes the year 20-11 overall and captured third-place honors at the ACC Championships.