DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke University wrestling team wrapped up its 2013-14 season at the end-of-the-season banquet over the weekend. Four Blue Devils walked away with awards for their work on the mat or in the classroom.
Prior to announcing the award winners, a selection of Blue Devils spoke to the group on everything from community service to academics to continuing to push into the future.
Senior Brian Self, calling each one of the wrestlers his brothers, spoke briefly about what Duke wrestling has meant to him over the past four years and advised the current Blue Devils about the importance of embracing the program and what the coaching staff is building.
Redshirt sophomore Conner Hartmann recognized the five Blue Devils who earned All-ACC Academic recognition and gave a special mention to classmate Marcus Cain for his success as en engineering major and the help he provided to himself over the past year.
In line with the program’s motto of “Building the Total Student-Athlete”, redshirt junior Immanuel Kerr-Brown spoke about of the community service the team did over the course of the year and the importance of continuing to give back to both the Duke and Durham communities.
Taking home the Scholar Athlete Award was rookie Spencer Neff. The Darnestown, Md., native led the squad in grade point average. He wrestled in eight matches overall as a rookie, going 4-4.
Freshman Connor Bass was selected as the Rookie of the Year after going 12-17 overall and 5-10 in duals. Bass, wrestling at 149 pounds, took third at the Hokie Open and fourth at the Appalachian State Open.
Kerr-Brown was voted as the team’s Most Improved Wrestler. A two-time winner of the award, Kerr-Brown made great strides in 2013-14. Prior to this past season, the Rome, Ga., native had won just three ACC contests and had gone 1-4 in his two ACC Championships. Returning for his junior season, Kerr-Brown put together a career-best 26-13 overall record, went 5-1 in the ACC during the regular season, took third at the ACC Championships and earned his first bid to the NCAA Championships.
Kerr-Brown finished the year with a 3-4 record against ranked opponents and moved on to day two of the NCAA Championships with a win in his second match.
All-American and fifth-place finisher at the NCAA Championships, Hartmann rounded out the award winners with the Most Valuable Wrestler Award. The Port Orchard, Wash., native finished the year 27-11 and took third at the ACC Championships to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships. In Oklahoma City, Hartmann upset the No. 7, No. 10 and No. 11 seeds en route to taking fifth overall.
The Blue Devils, facing their toughest schedule in program history, finished the year 6-15 overall and took 29th of 72 teams at the NCAA Championships.