New course listing for the spring semester: Job security 101. Instructor- C. Anderson. Lesson one: Don't lose.
Wrestling coach Clar Anderson continued his impressive rookie campaign this weekend as his undefeated wrestling squad showed it had learned lesson one well, posting a strong effort in the Swarthmore Invitational tournament in Swarthmore, Pa.
As a matter of fact, the only thing that could slow Duke down was poor health. Both senior Jessie Raia and sophomore Deuce Harris fell victim to the flu earlier in the week and were unable to make the trip, and Alex Hunt, hero of the Virginia Military Institute match last week remained sidelined with a knee injury.
Speaking of the loss of personnel, Anderson said, "It was tough, because all three would have been number one seeds. We would have really been able to dominate [the tournament]."
Even without three of its top wrestlers and their collective 21 wins, Duke was still able to be the class of this individual tournament, led by the efforts of senior Chris Heckel, junior Matt Mapes, and freshman Bill Morris.
"Both [Heckel and Mapes] just did an exceptional job this weekend," Anderson said.
Wrestling in the 126-lb. class, Heckel stormed through his bracket to record his first tournament championship of the season, doing so in most impressive fashion-knocking off every opponent by way of a fall.
"I wrestled pretty well," Heckel said. "I wanted to do great because this is the last tournament [of the regular season]."
Mapes continued to be unstoppable at the 167-lb class as he kept his undefeated record intact en route to another Duke championship. According to Coach Anderson, Mapes' return to the team has been a huge factor on the team's performance this season.
"It is a big impact," Anderson said. "He's a very hard worker. He just puts the guy on his back."
The 142-lb. Morris also put forth an impressive effort for the Blue Devils, recording a second-place finish.
"I was impressed," said Anderson. "Matt made it all the way to the finals, and then he just got caught."
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The Swarthmore tournament marks the last tournament for the Duke wrestlers until the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in March. Anderson's squad will next take the mat Friday in Cameron Indoor Stadium against the Citadel.