The three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and a Finesilver brother en route to the NCAA championships for Duke Wrestling.
Although the Blue Devils finished last as a team in Sunday’s ACC Championships, Redshirt junior Josh Finesilver finished third with £ 149 and received an automatic bid for the NCAA Championships later that month. This is the third time he has qualified for the tournament.
“I look at what Josh has done – he trains hard, he lives the right lifestyle, he does the right things,” said head coach Glen Lanham. “You’re always excited for a guy like that. He’s preparing properly.”
Josh comes from a family of great Duke wrestlers, with a Finesilver brother who has qualified for the NCAA championships every season since 2015, except last year when both Josh and his twin brother Matt wore red shirts. The duo qualified for the NCAA championships in the first two seasons in Durham in 2018 and 2019, and Matt would likely have qualified again with Josh this year if he hadn’t practiced an ACL crack just before the season started would have suffered.
Before them, older twin brothers Mitch and Zach qualified four and three times respectively between 2015 and 2019, with Mitch finishing fourth in the NCAAs in 2019.
Lanham credits the mindset of every wrestler, as well as their parents, as contributing to family success.
“It kind of started, I would say, five or six years ago, with people who came into the program and wanted to make a difference and wanted to sacrifice a lot of the normalities that regular students have to become masters and the people who are into that Doing our program will be successful, “Lanham said. “You look at Mitch, you look at Zach, you look at Matt – all of these people are people who do that and are successful.
“It starts with the parents. They let us coach their sons and they know that sometimes it gets difficult and sometimes we will push them. And they are there as parents. They are not there as a coach or a critic. They I am as Parents there and they know our system is working. And sometimes we have to challenge them to get them where they need to be in games. We have to make them uncomfortable. “
Entering the NCAA championships wasn’t the only goal for Josh this season, however.
Duke has had an All-American (top 8 finisher in each weight class) for six consecutive seasons. Though Josh is currently a bit out of 20th place, Lanham believes the fight Josh put on in ACCs – including a loss to North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor, the country’s No. 1 wrestler in his weight class – is All -american status very achievable for the Colorado native. And possibly more.
“Right now his focus is to win,” Lanham said of Josh’s focus at NCAAs. “It’s not about putting pressure on him to win, it’s about knowing that he is capable of winning him. And that’s the whole thing, if you get citizenship now you will be surprised how lots of big names getting there that want to stop, the season is too long, your body is broken. You have to give them an excuse to stop. I think one thing I know Josh will do is he will don’t stop wrestling. And I think that’s a good attribute that he’ll bring to the national tournament. “
Outside of Josh, several other wrestlers were on the verge of qualifying for NCAAs but ultimately only fell one win behind.
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One of these wrestlers was newbie Logan Agin at 125 pounds. Agin entered the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed and angry Pittsburgh’s Redshirt novice and No. 3 seed Colton Camacho in the first round before falling to NC State Redshirt sophomore and No. 2 seed Jacob Camacho in the second round.
Agin is just one example of a deluge of young Blue Devil wrestlers with the potential to make noise on the street.
“I think it shows he’s right up there,” Lanham said of Agin. “It shows that he is capable of competing in Division I at that weight … If we get out of COVID and have regular playing times, there will be a lot of growth going on with these young people because you need experience and you cannot have experience collect when you don’t have the matches. “
The NCAA championships will be held March 18-20 in St. Louis, MO.