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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
5 Selected to All-ACC Academic Team
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 04/17/2017
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DURHAM, N.C.—Five members of the Duke wrestling team were named to the All-ACC Academic Team, announced Monday by Commissioner John Swofford. The five Blue Devils selected were tied for the most with Virginia and matches Duke’s total in 2013 and 2014.

Representing Duke on the All-ACC Academic Team are Thayer Atkins, Cole Baumgartner, Zach Finesilver, Jacob Kasper and Alec Schenk. Each earned the recognition for the first time in their careers.

Kasper is one of seven All-Americans represented on the academic squad after he took sixth at the NCAA Championship at heavyweight.

Starting the season unranked, Kasper quickly climbed into the national conversation of top heavyweights by winning each of his first three tournaments, including the prestigious Southern Scuffle. He is the first Blue Devil to win a Southern Scuffle title as he moved into the top 10 in the national rankings.

After finishing runner-up at the ACC Championships, Kasper rolled through his first three matches at the NCAA Championships to solidify his All-America status with a spot in the NCAA semifinals. He became the third Blue Devil in program history to earn All-America honors and the third to advance to a NCAA semifinal. A sociology major, Kasper finished the year 30-6 overall to become the 13th Blue Devil to win 30 matches in a single season.

Atkins, a sociology major, had his strongest season as a Blue Devil in 2016-17, going 19-11 overall and taking fifth at the Wolfpack Open. The Texas native’s 19 wins this season were six more than his previous two seasons combined. A three-year starter at 125 pounds, Atkins scored 28 points for the Blue Devils in duals this season and went a career-best 2-3 in ACC duals.

Baumgartner, a redshirt senior transfer from Missouri, anchored Duke’s lineup at 133 pounds. He started all 13 duals and finished the year with an 18-12 overall record and just missed a spot in the NCAA Championships. Enrolled in Duke’s Master’s of Engineering Management program, Baumgartner took third at the Wolfpack Open and went 2-3 versus ACC foes.

Finesilver, Duke’s starter at 141 pounds, had a solid season for the Blue Devils, compiling a 15-12 overall record, which included placing at both the Southeast Open and Wolfpack Open. The history major went 8-4 in duals, scoring 36 points for the Blue Devils. He led all Blue Devils with six technical falls and is 39-26 for his career.

Duke’s starter at 184 pounds, Schenk finished his first full season as a starter with a 12-14 overall record. He went 7-6 in duals and 3-2 against ACC foes to collect more wins than he had his previous two seasons. A sociology major, Schenk took fourth at the ACC Championships after pinning Pitt’s Zach Bruce to advance to the third-place match.

The Blue Devils finished 4-9 in 2016-17 and tied for 32nd at the NCAA Championships.

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