| 2013 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dake is 4-time champion
Penn State captures third straight team title
By Jim & Tony Nordland
Cornell's Kyle Dake won his fourth NCAA title and Penn State earned a third consecutive team championship at the 83rd annual NCAA Wrestling Championships before 16,131 fans at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. It was an historic night at the NCAAs, as Dake rallied to win an unprecendented fourth title in four different weight classes and the Nittany Lions reclaimed the team lead in the championship finals. Dake (37-0, 137-4 career) scored with a key escape and added a scramble takedown midway through the bout, along with a riding time point, to defeat 2012 NCAA champion David Taylor (31-2), 5-4, in the 165-pound bout. Dake was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award and finished with a perfect 20-0 mark in NCAA Tournament competition.
Penn State amassed 123.5 points to edge runner-up Oklahoma State (119.5) and crowned two champions, Ed Ruth (33-0, 101 wins) at 184 and Quentin Wright who upped his record to 32-0. Ruth was relentless with a barrage of third period takedowns en route to a 12-4 major decision and Wright used his single leg takedowns to defeat 2011 NCAA winner Dustin Kilgore (43-1) of Kent State, 8-6, at 197. Both Ruth and Wright earned their second NCAA crowns. Oklahoma State also claimed two titlists, Jordan Oliver (38-0) and Chris Perry (35-2). Oliver scored with a slick shrug takedown with ten seconds remaining in his bout at 149 and Perry needed an overtime escape for his crown at 174 pounds.
Rounding out the top teams were Minnesota (103), Iowa (72) and the Big Red of Cornell who finished with four All-Americans and 65 points. Other NCAA winners were Jesse Delgado (26-3) of Illinois who converted a scramble takedown into a cross-face cradle for a 7-4 victory at 125 and defending champion Logan Stieber (26-0) of Ohio State who had a controversial match with Iowa's Tony Ramos. Ramos rallied with a takedown and an apparent near fall with an overhead cradle but wasn't awarded any back points and fell to Stieber, 7-4, in the 133 class. Also winning NCAA crowns were Oklahoma's Kendric Maple (30-0) at 141, Derek St. John (31-2) of Iowa who used a tough ride and a shoulder roll escape to eke out a 3-2 win at 157 and reigning champion Tony Nelson (33-1) of Minnesota converted a third period snap/spin takedown for a 6-2 verdict at 285 pounds.
Penn State has won four team championships, the first was in 1953.Oklahoma State is the NCAA leader with 34 team titles, followed by Iowa with 23 championships. The Cowboy's Jordan Oliver (4-1-2-1) finished as a four time All-American and have the most NCAA champions with 136 individual titles. Derek St. John won a pair of Iowa state titles and now a NCAA crown at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Minnesota led all teams with eight All-Americans. Pennsylvania had 13 prepped wrestlers achieve All-American honors. New York State had two AAs, the aforementioned Dake and teammate junior Mike Nevinger (42-12) who finished 5th at 141 pounds. Dake was penalized a questionable stalling point near the end of the match, but it was his mat skills and ride time (1:13) that propelled him to the historic victory. He finished with a 77-match win streak and joins the elite company of only two other four-time NCAA champions, Pat Smith (Okla State) and Cael Sanderson (Iowa State). Dake recently stated: "I hate losing more than I enjoy winning." He was quick to credit his success to the outstanding coaching staff at Cornell and the fantastic family support he received over his illustrious career. He became the fourth New Yorker to win the OSW at the NCAAs, the others were Nick Gallo (1976) of Hofstra, Jeff Prescott (1991) of Penn State and Harvard's Jesse Jantzen in 2004. Columbia University finished with 17 points, Binghamton (10), Hofstra (3.5) and Buffalo had 1.5 points. The combined record of the ten Division I champions was 321 victories and just 8 losses. The 2014 NCAA Championships will be held at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City, OK on March 20th-22nd. .