Nov. 15, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - In conjunction with the No. 21 Purdue wrestling team's first home dual of the season against Duke, wrestling will celebrate 100 years as a sport at Purdue Saturday. More than 100 Boilermakers spanning the last seven decades, including 1950 128-pound national champion Joe Patacsil, 1976 Olympian Joe Corso and 1992 NCAA Champion Charles Jones, are expected back and will be introduced at 1 p.m. ET, prior to the dual that will begin at 2 p.m. in Holloway Gymnasium. The celebration will get underway at 12 p.m. with alumni matches, including a matchup between 2013 All-American Ivan Lopouchanski and 2009 All-American Jake Patacsil.
Among the former Boilermakers returning to campus are Duke head coach Glen Lanham, assistant coach Ben Wissel and volunteer assistant coach Jake Patacsil. The dual will also be the first of the 2013-2014 campaign for the Blue Devils after opening its season at the Hokie Open with a pair of championship performances and 10 top-six finishes on Nov. 10.
"Duke is up and coming and they are going to be tough," head wrestling coach Scott Hinkel said. "They have three coaches that have been involved with Purdue wrestling; two are alumni and one of them coached with me. They are going to do a good job and they are going to come up here with an attitude. We want to go out and compete hard and win. We want to make it a weekend to remember."
The dual will feature one bout with ranked wrestlers going head-to-head with No. 16/17 Braden Atwood (4-1) taking on No. 19/18 Conner Hartmann (3-0) at 197 pounds. Hartmann will be the second-straight ranked opponent for Atwood after facing then-No. 16 Phil Wellington of Ohio in the Michigan State Open title match, where he suffered a 6-4 setback. The redshirt sophomore Blue Devil is coming off of a title run at the Hokie Open where he outscored his three opponents 21-2.
Joining Hartmann with a title at the Hokie Open was 184-pounder Jacob Kasper (4-0) with a 1:24 fall in the finals. For Purdue at 184 it will be redshirt freshman Tanner Lynde (4-2). The Delphi, Ind., native placed sixth at the Michigan State Open and posted a pair of major decisions.
In addition to Atwood, the Boilermakers also boast the 19th-ranked 125-pounder in redshirt senior Camden Eppert, who is slated to make his season debut against redshirt freshman Evan Botwin (0-0). Although he is unranked, Duke is also led by 2013 NCAA qualifier Brandon Gambucci (3-1). Gambucci was completely dismantled in the 133 title match a week ago, losing via major decision, 19-6, to place second.
Purdue and Duke have only met on the mat once before, with the Boilermakers running away with a 44-3 victory on Jan. 13, 2002, at the Wendy's Classic in Ashland, Ohio.