DURHAM, N.C.-Duke University freshman Tanner Hough was officially announced as one of the 330 selections for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Hough will take on Hofstra's Luke Vaith in the first round as announced in a NCAA Web stream this evening.
Hough earned one of the ACC's four bids to the NCAA Championships at 141 pounds. The true freshman took fourth in the ACC Championships as the No. 5 seed heading into the event last weekend. He is the first true freshman under head coach Clar Anderson and just the second all-time at Duke to advance to the NCAA Championships.
A native of Johnstown, Pa., Hough posted a thrilling 4-2 sudden victory over fourth-seeded Evan Henderson of North Carolina. He avenged his 5-2 setback to Henderson earlier in the year. After losing in the semifinal round to seventh-ranked Nick Nelson, Hough rebounded with a consolation semifinal victory to cement a spot for him in the NCAA Championships. He fell to No. 20 Zach Neibert in the consolation final to take fourth overall.
Hough is the 33rd Duke wrestler to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships and the first at 141 pounds since Adam Benitez in 2004. Ranked 31st of 33 in the latest RPI rankings, he currently sports a 23-11 overall record and owns a team-best nine pins. He spent the first half of the season competing unattached and earned three top-two tournament finishes with a win coming in The Citadel Open.
Vaith is coming off of winning the Colonial Athletic Association title at 141 pounds. The redshirt sophomore is 22-8 overall this season and went 1-2 against ranked wrestlers. He is making his first appearance in the NCAA Championships. He was ranked 24th in the coaches poll and 27th in the last RPI rating list released.
The first session of wrestling beings Thursday, March 15 at 11 a.m., at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Session II begins at 6:30 p.m., March 15 and the finals will be held March 17 at 6:30 p.m.
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