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Tommy Askey
Tommy Askey won by pinfall at 157 pounds.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Wrestling Defeats Duke

Less than 10 seconds after the home dual against Duke began, Caleb Smith brought fans in Varsity Gym to their feet with an emphatic takedown.

Fans of the 19th-ranked Mountaineers had reason to cheer all evening, as App State won the first nine matches in a 42-3 victory against Duke on Tuesday night. The crowd of 968 witnessed eight of those wins produce bonus points in a one-sided affair that gave the Mountaineers their 10th victory over a Power Five program since JohnMark Bentley became head coach.

After climbing to its highest-ever ranking in the NWCA Coaches Poll earlier in the day — App State is as high as No. 18 in the country in a different poll and has been as high as No. 16 in InterMat’s rankings, back in 2016-17 — the Mountaineers improved to 7-2 overall by dominating their final nonconference dual.

The Appalachian Open on Saturday is next on the schedule, and App State will take a 3-0 league record into its SoCon dual at Gardner-Webb on Monday.

Smith’s fast start in Tuesday’s opener at 125 pounds propelled him to a six-point pin with 20 seconds left in the second period — he was on the verge of a five-point tech fall with an 18-4 lead before securing the fall. Tommy Askey also earned six team points against Duke (3-7) with his second-period pin at 157, and a Duke forfeit at 174 allowed Will Miller to contribute six more points to the team score.

Jon Jon Millner delivered a takedown and nearly received back points seven seconds into his 21-4 tech fall at 149 pounds, and App State posted four major decisions: Ethan Oakley (13-3 win at 133 pounds), Will Formato (13-0 shutout at 165), Luke Uliano (11-1 win at 184) and Carson Floyd (11-2 win at 197). Duke’s lone victory occurred in the last official match, with 20th-ranked Jonah Niesenbaum winning 3-2 against Triston Norris in the redshirt freshman’s second career dual start.

Formato, who won 7-4 against Gabe Dinette last year in Durham, recorded a takedown 22 seconds into the rematch. A takedown and four-point near fall in the second period enabled him to open up a 9-0 lead.

Leading 2-1 after a second-period rideout, Uliano quickly followed a third-period reversal with a four-point near fall to take control of his match.

Facing Duke’s Vincent Baker, who was coming off a Friday win against previously ranked Max Shaw of North Carolina, Floyd recorded a takedown in the first 15 seconds and led 4-1 with 1:51 in riding time after one period. Ahead 6-1 after two periods, Floyd used a third-period reversal and takedown to collect a bonus point.

The 2022-23 season is presented by Hungry Howie’s and Penn Station.

No. 19 App State 42, Duke 3
125: #11 Caleb Smith (APP) def. Ethan Grimminger (DU), fall (4:40)
133: Ethan Oakley (APP) def. Logan Agin (DU), 13-3 maj. dec.
141: Heath Gonyer (APP) def. Jarred Papscy (DU), 5-1 dec.
149: #9 Jon Jon Millner (APP) def. Patrick Rowland (DU), 21-4 tech fall
157: #28 Tommy Askey (APP) def. Logan Ferrero (DU), fall (3:31)
165: #26 Will Formato (APP) def. Gabe Dinette (DU), 13-0 maj. dec.
174: #27 Will Miller (APP) won by forfeit
184: Luke Uliano (APP) def. Luke Chakonis (DU), 11-1 maj. dec.
197: Carson Floyd (APP) def. Vincent Baker (DU), 11-2 maj. dec.
Hwt: #20 Jonah Niesenbaum (DU) def. Triston Norris (APP), 3-2 dec.
Extra match
141: Riley Edwards (APP) def. Christian Colman (DU), 4-0 dec.