AKRON, Ohio – It was a great weekend of wrestling for Duke as rising junior wrestler Matt Finesilver will need to have his passport ready by securing his spot in the U23 World Championships in winning the title at 87 kilograms at the U23 Greco Roman National Championships this past weekend. Classmate Kaden Russell also competed, taking fifth at 97 kg.
Matt Finesilver, fresh off of earning an Olympic redshirt, cruised through his bracket at 87 kg to take home the crown. He started hid day off by upending No. 5 seed Timothy Eubanks by a 9-1 score. In the quarterfinal against fourth-seeded Jimmy Stillerman, the Colorado native used a fast start for the 9-0 win.
His hot streak continued in the semifinal match where he bested the bracket’s top seed, Bear Hughes. Finesilver fell behind early, but 12 straight points for him gave him the 12-5 victory and spot in the title match where he defeated Blake Smith out of the Olympic training center in Colorado and Arizona in two out of three, including winning the first by tech fall.
Russell, after dropping his opening bout to top-seeded G Angelo Hancock of Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, rallied in the consolation bracket to take fifth overall. He started his run through the back half of the bracket with an 8-0 win over Chase Daniels. He added convincing victories in the consolation rounds of eight and four before losing to fifth seed Devon Amburgy of Williams Baptist in the consolation semifinal.
In freestyle action, Russell led the group with his fifth-place finish. Seeded fifth, Russell won his first three matches to land in the semifinals against the top seed Christian Brunner of the Boilermaker RTC. After a second setback in the consolation semifinals, Russell closed out the weekend on a winning note with a 17-6 triumph against Colin McCracken from Kent State. Leading 7-4 after the first period, the Medina, Ohio native outscored McCracken 10-2 in the second period to secure the victory.
Matt Finesilver, seeded second at 86 kg, lost his opening bout, but was able to rebound well in the consolation bracket. He cruised through his next four bouts before falling in the second consolation round of eight.
Josh Finesilver, wrestling at 70 kg, eased through to the round of 16 before suffering his first loss to No. 4 seed Kendall Coleman of Boilermaker RTC. His day ended in the second consolation round of 16. Josh also
The U23 Senior World Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary October 28-November 3.