Kasper Wins Opening Match at NCAA Championships
ST. LOUIS—Duke redshirt junior heavyweight Jacob Kasper picked up his 28th victory of the season in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships in front of 18,157 fans at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Kasper headlines the trio of Blue Devils competing in the NCAA Championships.
Kasper, seeded fourth overall in the heavyweight bracket, eased past Gage Hutchison of Eastern Michigan with a 5-0 decision. Hutchison and Kasper remained deadlocked throughout the first 2:45 before Kasper scored a takedown in the waning seconds for the 2-0 lead after three minutes.
The Lexington, Ohio native escaped just over midway through the second period to go ahead and seemingly iced the victory seconds later with a takedown. He rode out the third session to score the 5-0 decision. He will wrestle Mike Kosoy of NC State for a second time this season. He defeated Kosoy in the Wolfpack Open title bout by a 15-4 major decision. Kosoy upset No. 13 seed Collin Jensen of Nebraska.
Jake Faust started the day for the Blue Devils at 157 pounds, opening his second appearance at the NCAA Championships against No. 9 seed Joshua Fields of Arizona State. Battling a tough injury suffered a few weeks prior, Faust fought Fields tough for the seven minutes in a 12-1 setback. Faust will go up against No. 8 seed Jake Short of Minnesota in the wrestlebacks Thursday evening.
Making his debut in the NCAA Championships, Connor Bass fell to No. 16 seed Christian Brucki of Central Michigan by fall in the second period. Brucki built a good lead in the first period and was able to get a reversal in the second to pick up the fall. Bass will be back on the mat in the evening session against Christopher Pfarr of Minnesota who lost to the top seed by a 19-5 major decision.
The evening session gets underway at 7 p.m. Television coverage will move to ESPN in the evening with all eight mats being shown on ESPN3.