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It was, in many ways, a flashback to 5 years (and 1 month) ago. Lansing High School and Cornell University grad Kyle Dake entered the most prestigious wrestling tournament he could find, rolled through the preliminary rounds without giving up a single point, fell behind in the crucial final match, and then outsmarted and outmuscled his opponent to see his hand raised in victory at the end.

In 2013, as many locals will never forget, Dake was on the cusp of history. In 2010, he became the first-ever true freshman to win an NCAA individual championship (at 141 pounds). He followed up on that achievement by winning again as a sophomore (at 149), and as a junior, he made NCAA history by winning title number three at 158 pounds, the first collegiate wrestler to win at three different weight classes.

When Dake was a senior, he carried on his shoulders not just the weight of his own legacy, but that of the sport as well. The International Olympic Committee had stated that wrestling would no longer be an Olympic sport, and the wrestling community was both angered by the assertion that their sport was being marginalized, and thrilled that the NCAA tournament would be broadcast on national television, and that an Ivy League athlete would try to make history in the featured match of the night…

Read the full article by Steve Lawrence here.

Dake vs Takatini at World Cup 2018Dake vs Takatini at World Cup 2018