DURHAM, N.C.—On the heels of making Duke wrestling history as the first Blue Devil to win a Southern Scuffle title, heavyweight Jacob Kasper garnered his first ACC Wrestler of the Week honor. He shares the award with NC State’s Kevin Jack.
This is the first weekly award for a Blue Devil this season and the first of Kasper’s career.
Kasper, seeded fifth, won five straight matches at heavyweight--including three against nationally-ranked foes--to take the title at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He became the first Blue Devil to take home a Southern Scuffle crown and used wins over three top 15 opponents on his way to doing so.
Ranked 17th in the latest InterMat poll, he defeated eighth-ranked Denzel Dejournette of Appalachian State (9-7), 11th-ranked Austin Schafer of Oklahoma State (8-2) and sixth-ranked Michael Kroells of Minnesota (5-3) to earn the top spot on the podium and help Duke to a 13th-place team finish. Kasper is undefeated in four matches against ranked opponents this year and is an impressive 16-1 overall heading into a busy dual season. He has won all three tournaments he has entered this season.
The Blue Devils open the 2017 portion of their dual schedule Jan. 8 with a pair of matches on Long Island. Duke will wrestle Hofstra and LIU Post in Brookville, N.Y. The Blue Devils’ matches are set for 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively. Duke’s first home dual in 2017 will come Jan. 17 against a tough Appalachian State squad. The Blue Devils will look to avenge their loss to the Mountaineers a year ago.