DURHAM, N.C. – A pair of future Blue Devils took home hardware this summer at the 2019 US Marine Corps Cadet and Junior National Championships in July. The duo of Vincent Baker and Wyatt Pfau excelled in the Greco-Roman competitions.
Wrestling at 195 pounds, Baker cruised through the bracket and never allowed a point until the title match. He outscored his opponents 43-0 to land in the championship bout against Artem Loginov. The California native was no match for the Georgia product as Baker won 13-2. Baker also took fifth place in the freestyle competition for his second All-America honor. Earning All-America recognition in both styles, Baker became just the fifth wrestler from the state of Georgia to win a national title and achieve double All-America status in the 49-year history of the USA Junior Nationals. His finishes put him in a tie for fourth place nationally for an individual wrestler contributing overall team points.
Pfau, at 160 pounds, wrestled his way to the quarterfinals before suffering his first setback. In the consolation bracket, Pfau added another win to his list and eventually landed seventh on the podium.
Earlier in the spring, Baker also won the 2019 Southeast Regional Greco-Roman and freestyle titles at 195 pounds. In his final year of high school wrestling, Baker captured his third consecutive Georgia Class 4A title, competing at 182 pounds. TrackWrestling has the Canton, Ga., native’s record at 86-1, which includes 54 pins and 15 technical falls.
Hailing from Brush, Colo., Pfau wrestled at 170 pounds in his final high school campaign. He advanced to the Colorado state title match before losing in heartbreaking fashion in overtime, 7-5. Pfau found his way to the championship bout with three falls. He won the regional championship final in commanding fashion with a 15-0 technical fall. TrackWrestling puts Pfau at 30-1 with 19 pins and nine technical falls.
The Blue Devils are coming off a second straight top 25 finish at the NCAA Championships, taking 24th overall. Head coach Glen Lanham welcomes in a large group of 10 freshmen to the team, bolstering the roster to 24 wrestlers.