Jacob Kasper Cleans Up at Annual Awards Banquet
After capping his stellar Duke wrestling career with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, Jacob Kasper was recognized with a collection of team awards at the annual end-of-season banquet. Kasper, finishing the year with a 38-4 overall record was selected as the team’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. In addition to his success on the mat, Kasper has excelled in the classroom as well and was also picked as the squad’s Total Student-Athlete of the Year honor.
Farinaro Recognized for Dedication
Senior Luke Farinaro, despite competing in only 13 bouts this past season, was instrumental in the team’s success. A dedicated wrestler, Farinaro always did what was asked of him, whether that be wrestle down a weight or up a weight. He was a tireless worker in the wrestling room for the Blue Devils and was recognized for his dedication as this year’s winner of The Dylan Ryan “Rhino” 11th Man Award.
Matt Finesilver Picks Up Rookie of the Year Award
Matt Finesilver had an outstanding rookie campaign, going 26-11 overall and earning a bid to the NCAA Championships. He, along with his brothers Josh and Mitch, is one of five Blue Devil true freshmen to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships. Matt finished his dual season with a 10-1 mark with the loss coming against No. 16 Ethan Ramos of North Carolina.
Matt Finesilver Shows Well at US Open
Freshman Matt Finesilver traveled to Las Vegas last week to compete at the 2018 Marine Corps US Open. The rookie competed in the junior freestyle ranks at 79 kilograms. He went 4-2 overall to take fourth place. He opened the tournament with a thrilling 11-10 victory over Iowa State freshman Marcus Coleman. He continued his run through the championship bracket, besting Fresno State’s Brandon Martino and Ohio State’s Ethan Smith. Finesilver’s run came to an end in the semifinals against Mikey Labriola of Nebraska as he took fourth after a loss to Cornhusker redshirt freshman Beau Breske in the consolation final.
U.S. Open Junior Freestyle Results – 79 KG
Round of 64
- Matt Finesilver (Blue Blood Wrestling Club) VPO1 Marcus Coleman (C-RTC), 11-10
Round of 32
- Matt Finesilver (Blue Blood Wrestling Club) VFA Brandon Martino (Valley RTC), 9-6, 4:09
Round of 16
- Matt Finesilver (Blue Blood Wrestling Club) VPO1 Ethan Smith (OSC-Unattached), 8-6
- Matt Finesilver (Blue Blood Wrestling Club) VPO1 Travis Wittlake (Team Bucs), 6-3
- Michael Labriola (Nebraska) VSU1 Matt Finesilver (Blue Blood Wrestling Club), 12-2 5:51
- Beau Breske (Nebraska) VSU Matt Finesilver (Blue Blood Wrestling Club), 10-0
Kasper Joins Wolfpack Regional Training Center
Kasper recently decided to join the Wolfpack Regional Training Center as he continues to pursue the dream of wrestling both at the Olympics and other top international tournaments. One of the top training centers in the country for wrestling, Kasper joins other top wrestlers who attended NC State, including two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Nick Gwiazdowski. The Wolfpack RTC is headed up by coach Obe Blanc. A member of the staff since 2014, Blanc was recently named the Coach of the Year by the 2018 National College Open.
The full list of wrestlers training in Raleigh is here.