PITTSBURGH, Pa. –Duke redshirt senior Mitch Finesilver concluded his Blue Devil career standing fourth on the podium at the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships at PPG Paints Arena Saturday. The Blue Devils finished 24th of 70 teams represented in the field with 19 points.
Duke’s 24th-place showing marks the second consecutive season Duke has finished in the top 25 after taking 22nd last season. Finesilver became the fourth Duke wrestler to garner All-America honors when he defeated Jared Prince Friday night in the consolation bracket.
Finesilver started his final day of wrestling with a rematch against Princeton’s Matthew Kolodzik. The two wrestlers previously squared off in October in the NWCA All-Star Classic with Kolodzik coming away with the win.
The Duke 149-pounder avenged the loss with a 2-0 decision. After a scoreless first period, Finesilver was the first to get on the board with an escape early in the second. Neither wrestler was able to register points and Mitch headed to the final two minutes with the narrow 1-0 lead.
Finesilver, in the top position in the third, rode Kolodzik well and built riding time to over one minute before eventually riding out the period for the 2-0 victory and a berth in the consolation final.
A familiar opponent awaited Finesilver in the third-place match as the Colorado native and North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor collided for the second time in the tournament and for the sixth time this season.
O’Connor, who defeated Finesilver in the quarterfinal, once again jumped out to an early lead and eventually built it to 6-2 after two periods. Finesilver escaped in the third to cut the lead to three and scored another takedown to leave it at 7-5 with time ticking away. He took a final shot and nearly scored a takedown to force overtime, but came up just short to take fourth overall.
Duke finished fifth among ACC programs, besting Pitt’s finish and coming in just one place behind Virginia’s 20.5 points. The five Blue Devil qualifiers tied for the most in program history.