Watching Cornell’s Kyle Dake win his fourth consecutive NCAA National Championship was history enough, but to have done it in four different weight classes is hard to comprehend. Only true wrestling fans can really grasp just how unique the feat is, but even then unique doesn’t quite describe it. Four National titles at four different weights has never been done before and might never happen again.

Kyle Dake’s workman like 5-4 victory over defending 165 lb National Champion David Taylor of Penn State was the cherry on a sundae of collegiate wrestling accomplishments that surpasses the great Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson. To be a collegiate wrestling All-American is more than most grapplers can hope for.

There are roughly 223 wrestling programs in the United States which includes Div I, II, III and junior college. Those programs have over 6,000 wrestlers competing in 10 weight classes for an average of 600 per weight. to be the very best of that group in any individual weight is extremely difficult, to have done it four straight years, against larger competitors each year is just hard to get your mind around.

On the ESPN coverage they attempted to compare it to boxing because both sports use individual weight classes, but even that comparison falls short. Kyle Dake competed at a higher weight for an entire season for four straight seasons. Dake did not jump up or down for an individual match bout like many of the middle weights do for a payday. Dake also went up a total 24 pounds in his four years of competition which in wrestling is a giant leap.

Kyle Dake also defeated a wrestler in David Taylor who was the defending champion at the 165 pound weight and won the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award doing it.

Taylor almost took Dake’s dream away by claiming the first takedown of the match which changed the dynamic of his previous two losses this season to Dake. In both of those matches Dake never trailed by getting out from the bottom and riding Taylor longer on top. Taylor forced Dake to open up and that’s exactly what Dake did in spurts.

Kyle Dake is excellent on his feet and on the mat, but he won the 2013 Nationals by being superior on the mat, top or bottom. David Taylor could not keep Dake down and only escaped from Dake’s pressure on top in the final 20 seconds, but could not overcome the critical riding time Dake had piled up.

Kyle Dake’s style is not as dramatic or over-powering as Taylor’s or others, but Dake does exactly what is needed to accomplish his goal and achieve victory. It is that ability which propelled Kyle Dake to the pinnacle of the amateur wrestling world and allowed us all to share in his rarest of feats.

Filed under: Local Headlines

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.