LAS VEGAS – Duke redshirt senior Jacob Kasper once again paced the Blue Devil wrestling team on a solid Day 1 of competition at the prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Kasper advances to the second day of wrestling and Duke sits in a tie for 23rd place with 26.5 points.
Duke is 23rd of 46 teams and sits tied with Purdue, while Kasper is in the semifinal round at heavyweight. It marks the first time a Duke wrestler has advanced to the semifinals in the few times the Blue Devils have made the trip for the tournament.
The nation’s sixth-ranked heavyweight, Kasper pushed his season record to 11-1 with four victories. He started the day by posting yet another fall in just 3:36 before battling in arguably his toughest of the day, besting Jeramy Sweany from Cornell, 4-0. He followed that with a 7-3 decision over Brown’s Ian Butterbrodt and a 6-0 blanking of 16th-ranked Garrett Ryan of Columbia to move into the semifinals. Kasper is schedule to wrestle against No. 4 Tanner Hall of Arizona State Saturday.
Redshirt junior Alec Schenk continued to demonstrate his potential at being great at 197 pounds by going 3-2 overall on the day. He started his day with a win before dropping into the consolation bracket after a loss to No. 5 Kevin Beazley of Michigan. Schenk responded with two straight wins, including a triple overtime thriller over Anthony McLaughlin, before having his day ended by Rocco Caywood of Army West Point. It was the second loss this season to Caywood with the first being a major decision setback at the Hokie Open.
At 125 pounds, senior Thayer Atkins advanced to the consolation bracket round of 16 before going up against No. 14 Luke Welch of Purdue. Welch got the better of action in an 18-6 major decision. He wrapped up the day with a 2-2 overall record.
Josh and Matt Finesilver wrestled well at 133 and 174 pounds, respectively. Both advanced to the consolation round of 16 before having their day end.
Kasper returns to the mat in the semifinals starting at 1 p.m. (ET). The championship finals and podium matches will begin at 6 p.m.
Cliff Keen Open Match-by-Match Results
Thayer Atkins – 125 Pounds
Atkins dec. Zach Fuentes (Drexel), 6-5
No. 3 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) major dec. Atkins (Duke), 9-0
Atkins (Duke) major decision Yoshito Funakoshi (Cal Poly), 13-4
No. 14 Luke Welch (Purdue) major dec. Atkins (Duke), 18-6
Josh Finesilver – 133 Pounds
No. 13 Josh Terao (American) dec. Josh Finesilver (Duke), 10-3
Josh Finesilver (Duke) dec. Ezekial Salvo (Brown), 13-9
Josh Finesilver (Duke) major dec. Isaac Jimenez (Air Force), 10-0
Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) fall Josh Finesilver (Duke), 0:51
Jeremiah Reitz – 141 Pounds
Sal Profaci (Michigan) dec. Reitz (Duke), 8-1
Reitz (Duke) dec. Sam Martino (UVA), 6-5
Sa'derian Perry (Eastern Michigan University) dec. Reitz (Duke), 9-2
Brandon Leynaud – 149 Pounds
Kyle Springer (Eastern Michigan) tech fall Leynaud (Duke), 15-0, 4:21
Leynaud (Duke) fall David Salazar (Embry Riddle), 1:35
Sam Krivus (UVA) major dec. Leynaud (Duke), 14-3
Garrett Neff – 165 Pounds
Andrew Mendel (Army West Point) major dec. Neff (Duke), 10-2
Jonathan Carrera (Navy) tech fall Neff (Duke), 16-0
Matt Finesilver – 174 Pounds
Finesilver (Duke) major dec. Dylan Barreiro (Kent State), 12-0
No. 15 Keaton Subjeck (Stanford) dec. Matt Finesilver (Duke), 5-3
Tyrel White (Columbia) dec. Matt Finesilver (Duke), 8-6 SV1
Kaden Russell – 184 Pounds
Dylan Gabel (Northern Colorado) tech fall Russell (Duke), 17-2, 3:00
Russell (Duke) dec. Connor Kirkland (Western Wyoming), 11-8
Drew Phipps (Bucknell) major dec. Russell (Duke), 17-5
Alec Schenk – 197 Pounds
Schenk (Duke) decision Ryan Brandt (Fresno State), 5-3
No. 5 Kevin Beazley (Michigan) dec. Alec Schenk (Duke), 9-3
Schenk (Duke) major decision Elias Mason (Embry-Riddle), 10-2
Schenk (Duke) dec. Anthony McLaughlin (Air Force), 4-2 SV-2
Rocco Caywood (Army) dec. Schenk (Duke), 5-3
Jacob Kasper – HWT
Kasper (Duke) fall Robert Winters (Northern Colorado), 3:36
No. 6 Jacob Kasper (Duke) dec. Jeramy Sweany (Cornell), 4-0
Kasper (Duke) dec. Ian Butterbrodt (Brown), 7-3
Kasper (Duke) dec. No. 16 Garrett Ryan (Columbia), 6-0