Cornell wrestler Kyle Dake makes history with fourth national championship

March 24, 2013

Cornell senior Kyle Dake made history tonight, winning a fourth national championship in four years with Big Red Wrestling. It's just the third time in history a wrestler has won four national championships, but the first time ever in four different weight classes.

Cornell Wrestling. 14850 file photo.Cornell Wrestling. 14850 file photo.Dake fell behind Penn State wrestler David Taylor in the first period, but came back to beat his friend and the defending national champion. "I knew that I could come back from a deficit, and I did, and I proved to everyone that I deserve it and I worked really hard for it this year."

Dake competed in the 141-pound weight class his freshman year, advanced to the 149-pound class his sophomore year, and competed at 157 pounds last year. He and Taylor competed in the 165-pound class to close out the championship round at the NCAA tournament in Des Moines.

The Lansing native and Lansing High School alum has used the bullhorn offered by his increasing popularity on Twitter to push his fans to oppose the International Olympic Committee's recent decision to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics. When it announced 25 "core sports" for the 2020 Olympics, the IOC left off wrestling, which was one of the sports that premiered in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, in 1896. The list still includes such recreational sports as badminton, handball, and table tennis.

"Wrestling's been my life for the past twenty years," Dake told a national audience on Sportscenter after the match. "My goals have finally come to reality." He ends his college career with a 77-match winning streak.

Cornell finishes the championship round in fifth place in the team race. Freshman Nahshon Garrett at 125 pounds and senior Steve Bosak at 184 pounds each placed third in their classes for the Big Red, and junior Mike Nevinger finished fifth at 141 pounds. Bosak finishes his college career as a three-time All-American. He was one of Cornell's three champions in the 2012 NCAA tournament in St. Louis, along with Dake and Cam Simaz.

Taylor's Nittany Lions earned a third consecutive team championship on the weekend, thanks to titles by Penn State wrestlers Ed Ruth and Quentin Wright, at 184 and 197 pounds, respectively.

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