DURHAM, N.C.-Duke University redshirt freshman Conner Hartmann and redshirt sophomore Brandon Gambucci were officially selected to represent the Blue Devils 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships today as announced by the NCAA. Gambucci earned an automatic berth in the 133-pound division, while Hartmann picked up one of four at-large bids at 197 pounds.
Gambucci and Hartmann are the 34th and 35th Blue Devils to advance to the NCAA Championships in program history. Duke has placed at least two wrestlers in the event 12 times and for the first time since 2009. Wrestling gets underway March 21 and continues through March 23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Gambucci is set to open against top-ranked Logan Steiber of Ohio State, while Hartmann will wrestle No. 7 seed Nathan Schiedel of Binghamton. Steiber is 22-0 this season and is 60-5 overall for his career with a pair of Big Ten titles. Schiedel is 26-2 overall for the year and 117-30 for his career.
The ACC runner-up at 133 pounds, Gambucci wrapped up one of the five automatic bids to the NCAA Championships with an outstanding performance this past weekend at the ACC Championship. The Mansfield, Ohio native secured his spot in the NCAA postseason when he upset top-seeded and No. 12 Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland in the semifinal round. Gambucci eventually fell to No. 2 seed and 15th-ranked George DiCamillo in the title bout, 10-9.
Gambucci is 19-5 overall for the year and finished 12-3 in dual matches. Ranked in the coaches RPI and NCAA Coaches' Panel rankings throughout the season, he went 2-3 against ranked foes en route to garnering All-ACC recognition. He is the first 133-pounder to qualify for the Blue Devils.
Hartmann earned one of the five at-large bids to the NCAA Championships on the strength of his third-place finish at the ACC Championships. The Port Orchard, Wash., native is Duke's second wrestler to qualify at 197 and the first since 2009.
Ranked 30th in the final NCAA RPI standings, Hartmann just missed grabbing one of the two automatic berths into the NCAA field after falling to top-seeded Christian Boley 3-1 in the semifinal round. The redshirt freshman bounced back to win the consolation semifinal over North Carolina's Frank Abbondanza and edged Derrick Borlie of Virginia Tech in the third-place bout. Hartmann is 20-9 overall despite missing nearly two months due to injury. He placed in every tournament he entered this season, including winning the Hokie Open to kick off the campaign.
The NCAA wrestling brackets will be announced at 6 p.m. Check GoDuke.com later this evening for the matchups for Gambucci and Hartmann.
BDN+ Access users
returning customers, please login here.