DURHAM, N.C.—Fresh off of its fifth-place showing at the Southern Scuffle, the Duke wrestling team will open its dual season Friday in Chapel Hill at the Carolina Duals. The Blue Devils will test themselves against Army West Point, Wyoming and American in Carmichael Arena.
Carolina Duals Schedule
The Blue Devils will make the short eight-mile drive down Tobacco Road to compete in the Carolina Duals Friday. It will feature a trio of matches over the course of the day. Admission is free of charge and fans from afar can catch the live scoring on Trackwrestling.com as well as live updates via Twitter.
Duke vs. Army West Point – 9 a.m.
Duke vs. Wyoming – 11 a.m.
Duke vs. American – 5 p.m.
When Duke and Army West Point line up across from each other on the mat, it will be for the first time since the lone meeting in 1974. The Black Knights won that dual 30-11 in Princeton, N.J. The Blue Devils will wrestle Wyoming for a second time and for the first time under head coach Glen Lanham. The Cowboys defeated Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium 36-6 in 2009. The final match of the day comes against a more familiar foe in American. Duke and the Eagles have wrestled 10 times overall with the Blue Devils leading the series 7-3, including the past two wins in 2015 and 2016.
Recapping an Outstanding Southern Scuffle
The Blue Devils most recently took fifth at the Southern Scuffle, their highest finish in program history. Jacob Kasper took home his second consecutive heavyweight crown, while Mitch Finesilver jumped up five spots to a runner-up finish at 157 pounds. Matt Finesilver, at 174, was eighth and Luke Farinaro seventh at 197. The four podium finishes also were a record for the Blue Devils as they bested their 2017-points total by 39.5 – from 40.5 to 80 points in 2018.
A Look at the Blue Devil Lineup
Duke features four true freshmen in its starting lineup and four brothers as well. The Blue Devils also have a pair of top 10 wrestlers in Mitch Finesilver (10th) and Jacob Kasper (5th). Alec Schenk posted his first career victory over a ranked opponent, besting No. 16 Nathan Traxler of Stanford 11-2 at the Southern Scuffle. Schenk’s 12 wins this season already match his total from a year ago.
Josh Finesilver, Jeremiah Reitz, Matt Finesilver and Kaden Russell all will be making their first appearances in a collegiate dual Friday. The quartet is off to a solid start this season as rookies, combining to go 36-28 overall.
Duke Probable Lineup
125 – Thayer Atkins (7-5)
133 – Josh Finesilver (14-6)
141 – Jeremiah Reitz (4-8)
149 – Brandon Leynaud (2-8)
157 – No. 10 Mitch Finesilver (14-1)
165 – Zach Finesilver (8-5)
174 – Matt Finesilver (13-6)
184 – Kaden Russell (5-8)
197 – Alec Schenk (12-7)
285 – No. 5 Jacob Kasper (18-2)
Scouting Army West Point
Army West Point is returning to the mats after a 34-day layoff. It will the first dual for the Black Knights since they traveled to Penn State Nov. 9, falling 45-3. They took 30th at the Cliff Keen Invitational, five spots behind the Blue Devils. Army also was at the Hokie Open to start the season, placing five Black Knights on the podium from the main bracket, two of which are in the probable lineup below.
125: Trey Chalifoux
133: Lane Peters or Conner Ziegler
141: Austin Harry or Taylor Brown
149: Knox Fuller
157: Lucas Weiland or Beau Guffey
165: Cael McCormick
174: Ben Harvey or Luke Hodsden
184: Noah Stewart
197: Alex Hopkins or Jeremiah Imonode
285: Bobby Heald
Wyoming comes to Chapel Hill ranked 18th in the InterMat national poll. The Cowboys feature four top 20 wrestlers in the lineup, including second-ranked Bryce Meredith at 141 pounds. Wyoming took ninth at the Cliff Keen Invitational and is 1-2 in duals this year with a loss at Nebraska and to No. 3 Oklahoma State and a win at Iowa State. Archie Colgan is tops on the team with 19 wins, while Branson Ashworth is 18-3 and Meredith 13-1 with five pins.
125: Drake Foster
133: No. 12 Montorie Bridges
141: No. 2 Bryce Meredith
149: Sam Turner
157: No. 16 Archie Colgan/Dewey Krueger
165: No. 12 Branson Ashworth
174: Kyle Pope
184: Chaz Polson
197: Cody Vigoren
HWT: Hunter Mullins/Sam Eagan
American also will be wrestling for the first time in 2018 after last competing in the Wilkes open Dec. 22. The Eagles are 1-1 with a loss to Eastern Michigan and a win at Campbell. They took 11th at the Cliff Keen Invitational with 10th-ranked Josh Terao taking second to lead the way. Jeric Kasunic is tops on the team with 19 wins at heavyweight and Terao is right behind him with an 18-3 mark.
125: Gage Curry
133: No. 10 Josh Terao
141: Kizhan Clarke or Jack Mutchnik
149: Michael Sprague
157: Eric Hong or Anthony Wokasch
165: Bryce Dempsey or Colin Shannon
174: Conner Allshouse or Michael Eckhart
184: Prince Hyeamang or Abraham Correa-Medina
197: No. 12 Jeric Kasunic
285: Brett Dempsey
Matchups to Watch
It will be a thrilling day of wrestling in Chapel Hill and there will be a special selection of bouts to keep an eye on over the course of the day. Everything between rematches and ranked opponents, there will be moments that will very likely have an influence in March as the wrestlers vie for spots in the NCAA Championships.
133 – Josh Finesilver (Duke) vs. No. 10 Josh Terao (American)
133 – Josh Finesilver (Duke) vs. No. 12 Montorie Bridges
157 – No. 10 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) vs. No. 16 Archie Colgan (Wyoming)
165 – Zach Finesilver (Duke) vs. Cael McCormick
197 – Alec Schenk (Duke) vs. Alex Hopkins (Army WP)
Duke makes another trip west to wrestle both Cal State Bakersfield and Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. The matches are slated to begin at 1 and 3 p.m. (ET), respectively.