DURHAM, N.C.-Duke University redshirt freshman Conner Hartmann and redshirt sophomore Brandon Gambucci both landed spots in the first of three coaches' panel rankings released by the NCAA Thursday afternoon. Gambucci comes in at No. 23 at 133 pounds, while Hartmann is 27th in the 197-pound division.
Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents and have wrestled within the last 30 days.
The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Gambucci, sporting a 10-3 overall record and a 5-2 mark in dual this season, is among six ACC wrestlers on the 33-man list. The Mansfield, Ohio native is coming off of an 8-2 decision against Appalachian State and most recently suffered a narrow 4-3 defeat to No. 10 George DiCamillo of Virginia. Gambucci owns a 5-1 record in tournaments and placed third at the Keystone Classic this season.
Duke's wins leader this season, Hartmann is 17-8 overall and 2-3 in dual matches. He has led the Blue Devils all season, placing in every tournament he entered, including a sixth-place showing at the prestigious Southern Scuffle. The Port Orchard, Wash., native opened the 2012-13 campaign winning the Hokie Open before taking third at the Michigan State Open. Hartmann is one of three ACC wrestlers represented at 197.
The Blue Devils, fresh off of a thrilling 24-15 victory over Appalachian State, return to action at home Jan. 26 against Boston University. The bout is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., in Card Gymnasium.
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