DURHAM, N.C.—A collection of seven Duke University student-athletes will take to the mat, pool and strip this coming week at the 20th World Maccabiah Games scheduled for July 4-18 in Israel. This group of Blue Devils will compete in swimming, wrestling and fencing during the two-week event, which is held in celebration of Jewish Strength and Solidarity.
Blue Devil swimmers Leah Goldman, Judd Howard and Noah Stevens will be in action July 9-12 at The Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports in Netanya, Israel. Duke wrestling brother duo of
Mitch Finesilver and Matt Finesilver will don singlets in the freestyle wrestling competition set for July 9 in Be’er Sheva, Israel. Rounding out the Duke contingent are fencers junior Will Feldman and sophomore Ben Stone. They open action July 10.
A rising senior, Goldman served as a banner bearer for Maccabi USA at Thursday’s opening ceremonies after previously competing at the Maccabiah Games in 2013. The Burlingame, Calif., native made her third straight trip to the NCAA Championships this past spring, where she earned a top-20 finish individually in the 100-yard butterfly. Goldman also captured All-ACC honors in that event at this year’s conference championship.
Howard, a rising junior from Irvine, Calif., served as a boys’ team captain for Maccabi USA at the 2013 edition of the games. He rounded out his sophomore campaign by placing 12th in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the 2017 ACC Championships.
Stevens, a rising sophomore who hails from Rochester, N.Y., wrapped up his first collegiate season by breaking into the Blue Devils’ all-time top 10 in the 200 breaststroke.
Matt, who will join the Duke wrestling squad this coming fall, will compete at 74 kg for Maccabi USA. The incoming Blue Devil competed unattached in a selection of wrestling tournaments this past season. He posted a 2-2 record at the Wolfpack Open with losses to Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin and Luke Drugac of Old Dominion and advanced to the consolation semifinals of the Appalachian State Open.
Wrestling at 70 kg, Mitch is coming off of a redshirt season for Duke. The Greenwood Village, Colo., native went 8-3 overall this past season and took seventh at the Southern Scuffle at 157 pounds. He is the 2016 ACC runner-up at 149 pounds and is a two-time NCAA qualifier. He was one win shy of earning All-America status in the 2016 NCAA Championships.
Fencing competition for Feldman and Stone begins with individual competition on Monday, July 10 and will wrap up July 11 with the team portion of the games.
During the 2017 campaign, Feldman tallied a 33-20 overall ledger in competition as a foilist, and finished 11th during the individual portion of the ACC Fencing Championships and 14th at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional in Easton, Pa.
Stone competed in five North American Cups (NAC) in the fall, highlighted by his 10th-place finish in the men’s saber competition at the January NAC and a top-32 finish.
Since 1932, over 62,000 athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games, in a celebration of Jewish Strength and Solidarity. Team USA's success is not only measured by the medals won, but by the impact that the Maccabiah experience had on their lives as well as the friendships they formed.
Maccabi USA builds Jewish pride through sports, generating the emotional intensity, high ideals, and powerful camaraderie of competition. We connect athletes, volunteers, and supporters with the global Jewish community. Our athletic, educational, and cultural experiences build Jewish identity, perpetuate Jewish continuity worldwide, and strengthen support for the State of Israel.