This past Saturday at the NWCA All-Star classic, Cornell University’s Kyle Dake topped Penn State rival David Taylor, who is considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the country. It may have only been an exhibition match, but that didn’t keep it from being one of the most anticipated bouts of the year. The win didn’t come easy though. At the conclusion of regulation time, the score was tied at 1-1, with each wrestler having scored an escape. The match was sent to an overtime period consisting of two 30-second rounds in which each wrestler gets a chance to begin in top position. Dake was able to ride Taylor for the full 30 seconds, keeping him off of the scoreboard. In the next round, Dake was able to make a thrilling escape with only eight seconds remaining to score the deciding point and take the 165-pound weight class.
Dake has only grown stronger over his college career, not only on the score sheets, but physically as well. In this, his senior year, Dake will vie for his fourth consecutive national title in his fourth different weight class. He’s amazingly won the 141, 149, and 157-pound divisions in each of his three respective years.
While Dake’s resumé speaks to longevity, Taylor was easily the reigning king of NCAA wrestling coming into this season. He brought home nearly every major individual award available last season, including the Hodge trophy as the nation’s best wrestler. He went on a 32-0 run en route to his first national championship at 165 pounds, and a 70-1 overall career college record, making Dake’s narrow victory all the more amazing. The two are likely to square off again to kick off 2013, as the Southern Scuffle tournament on January 1-2 will see both Cornell and Penn State compete.
In other action at the All-Star Classic, Matt Wilps and Quentin Wright took the battle of Pennsylvania to another level in a thrilling matchup. Penn State’s Wright was making his debut in the 197-pound division, after spending most of his career at 184, against Pitt’s Wilps, who was a 2012 All-American. The back-and-forth war saw Wright shoot for a takedown in the dying seconds, but was knocked off balance by his own trip attempt, allowing Wilps to pounce and score the deciding pin.
Here’s a look a the full results (via Intermatwrestle.com)
125: No. 2 Nico Megaludis (Penn State) dec. No. 3 Jesse Delgado (Illinois), 4-3
133: No. 6 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro) dec. No. 4 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota), 2-1
141: No. 1 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) dec. No. 5 B.J. Futrell (Illinois), 6-2
149: No. 2 Jason Chamberlain (Boise State) dec. No. 9 Nick Lester (Oklahoma), 6-3
157: No. 2 Andrew Alton (Penn State) dec. No. 3 Jason Welch (Northwestern), 3-2
165: No. 1 Kyle Dake (Cornell) dec. No. 2 David Taylor (Penn State), 2-1 TB
174: No. 4 Josh Asper (Maryland) dec. No. 2 Jordan Blanton (Illinois), 3-1 SV
184: No. 3 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) dec. No. 4 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota), 5-3
197: No. 3 Matt Wilps (Pittsburgh) pinned No. 2 Quentin Wright (Penn State), 6:50
285: No. 2 Dom Bradley (Missouri) dec. No. 5 Mike McMullan (Northwestern), 3-2