SALEM, Va.—The Duke University wrestling team got the 2013-14 season off to a strong start at the Hokie Open Sunday with a pair of championship performances and 10 top-six finishes at the annual event. Conner Hartmann and Jacob Kasper brought home titles at 197 and 184 pounds, respectively.
Hartmann garnered his second consecutive Hokie Open crown with three commanding decisions. After posting a 9-1 major decision in the opening match of the season and a 6-1 decision in his semifinal bout, the Port Orchard, Wash., native blanked North Carolina’s Josh Lehner 6-0 in the final match to capture his first tournament title of the year.
In his first action in a Blue Devil singlet, Kasper was outstanding at 184 pounds as he posted a major decision in his first outing and added consecutive decisions to earn a spot in the title bout. Facing Rider’s Ryan Wolfe for the top spot on the podium, Kasper pinned Wolfe in just 1:24 for top honors.
Dorsey and Bass also were among the Blue Devils to place in their first tournaments as Blue Devils. Dorsey started the day with three straight victories before falling to Gardner-Webb’s Austin Trott in the final. Bass, after a fall in his debut bout, registered a 1-0 decision to move into the semifinals. The true freshman dropped a tough 4-2 decision to The Citadel’s Aaron Walker to land in the consolation final against Hokie David Wesley. Bass defeated Wesley 9-6 to take third overall.
Gambucci, ranked 14th nationally, cruised through his opening bouts with two technical falls and a narrow 14-12 decision. In the championship about against Virginia Tech's Kevin Norstrem, Gambucci suffered his first loss of the year in a 19-6 major decision. The runner-up finish was his best at the Hokie Open.
Cain, wrestling up from 149 a year ago, took third with a 7-3 decision over Kenneth Radford of The Citadel at 165, while Adamson won the consolation final 7-1 over Austin Coburn of Old Dominion. The third-place showings are the highest for the duo and are the first time they have placed at the Hokie Open.
Wrestling at heavyweight this season for the Blue Devils, Self started the day with a pair of decisions before narrowly losing two straight bouts to take fourth. His fourth-place finish was the second of his career after he finished fourth at the ACC Championships a year ago.
DeHart and Kerr-Brown rounded out Duke’s group with their sixth-place finishes. Both suffered tough setbacks in the fifth-place match after 3-1 on the day up to that point. DeHart, after losing his second bout, rebounded with a first-period fall to move into the consolation semifinals. Kerr-Brown also rallied in the consolation bracket with a decision and a major decision to land in the fifth-place match against Kevin Cooper of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
The Blue Devils open their dual season next weekend at Purdue and Indiana, Nov. 16 and 17, respectively. Both matches will be shown online by the Big Ten Digital Network.