WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the most anticipated match of the night, Cornell’s Kyle Dake muscled past Penn State’s David Taylor 2-1 at the NWCA All-Star Classic. The two were deadlocked after regulation, but the Big Red senior rode out Taylor in the second overtime for the win. Dake was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the Red Team at the conclusion of the night. Kendric Maple of Oklahoma won the award for the Blue Team.
The two wrestlers were scoreless after the first period. Dake chose to start the second period down on the mat and after 50 seconds escaped to take a 1-0 lead. In the third period, Dake returned Taylor to the mat twice from his bottom start before he escaped to tie the score at one. Dake and Taylor remained deadlocked after sudden death. Dake deferred to start the tie breakers, and Taylor chose to start his choice down on the mat. Dake held strong for the entire 30 seconds to keep his opponent from scoring. Dake quickly escaped from his starting down position at his choice to earn the decisive second point.
The victory is an exhibition win for Dake, but the mental advantage will help him start his senior season off on the right foot. Dake has moved up to 165 pounds to wrestle in his fourth weight class in as many years, and he is looking to be the only wrestler in history to win NCAA titles at four different weight classes. The bout marked the first time that Dake and Taylor have met in collegiate/folk style.
At the end of last season, Dake pinned Taylor at the Olympic Freestyle Team Trials at 74 kg. Dake went on to place third at the Trials.
The match marked the second time Dake wrestled in his career at 165 pounds. Last season, he moved up to the weight class to wrestle Joe Charnish of Binghamton for a dual on the road. Dake won by fall in 6:23.
Dake and Taylor both won NCAA titles in their respective weight classes last season, and Taylor was named the 2012 Dan Hodge Award winner which is given annually to the top collegiate wrestler in the country. Dake finished third in voting for the award. Taylor is a two-time All-American and was the runner-up at the 2011 NCAA championships. He has a 70-1 career record.
Dake is 100-4 for his career and has won NCAA titles at 141, 149 and 157 pounds, respectively. Last season, Dake became the first wrestler in history to win NCAA titles at three different weight classes. This season he has his sight set on becoming the third wrestler to win four NCAA titles and the first to win four titles in a row without a redshirt year.