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Dake tops Taylor again, Penn State wins Scuffle

By Roger Moore CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Las Vegas might give decent odds that four of the 10 finals bouts at the 2013 Southern Scuffle will be repeated at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Des Moines this March.

165, 174, 184, and 285. Those four bouts on Jan. 2 featured seven NCAA championships – Cornell’s Kyle Dake and Steve Bosak, Penn State’s David Taylor and Ed Ruth, and Minnesota’s Tony Nelson. They also include 13 All-America sea- sons between them.

Only one finals bout, 157 pounds, did not include a wrestler with at least one All-America medal. A strong first session on the second day of wrestling – the Nittany Lions went 5-1 in the semifinals – giving the reigning NCAA champions a 17 ½ point lead entering Wednesday night’s finals. Cael Sanderson’s group claimed the title by 20.5 points, totaling 178.5 by the end of competition. It was PSU’s third straight Scuffle title; in 2010 they shared the team trophy with Cornell. But this wasn’t necessarily about the team race. It was about massive individ- ual matchups as the season hits high gear.

For starters, Dake and Taylor wrestled a classic at 165. The two NCAA champi- ons wrestled a yawner at the NWCA All- Star Classic in November. This time around, although only five points were scored, it was scramble after scramble. Taylor, 75-1 in college entering the match, needed to escape in the final 30 seconds to force overtime, but Dake, who has not lost since the 2011 EIWA finals, was able to ride things out and avoid a late escape attempt by Taylor. The score- board showed 59 seconds of riding time for Taylor as the final whistle blew. The two traded reversals in the third and left fans ready for more.

“It was a good match, we had some great scrambles,” said Dake (16-0). “We wrestled tough. I had a lot of fun out there and I’m looking forward to the next one. We are both going to keep getting better.

26 USA Wrestler

Three-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake of Cornell earned his second win of the season over 2012 Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor of Penn State at the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 2 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Tony Rotundo photo.

“It was a fun week. I think everybody really enjoys this tournament.” Taylor had little trouble with Oklahoma

State’s Tyler Caldwell in the semifinals, picking up near fall points in the first peri- od in a 10-0 win. Dake’s tournament included three pins and a major decision. Right out of the gate in the 174-pound

final, All-Americans Chris Perry and Logan Storley went at it. Storley scored quickly, but was promptly reversed. By the time three minutes had elapsed it was 5-5. The two traded escapes, but the dif- ference was 1:47 or riding time for the top-ranked Cowboy in the end of a 7-6


It was Storley’s first loss in 14 matches this season. He pinned Penn State’s Matt Brown in the semifinals. Perry moved to 17-0.

Ruth and Bosak squared off in the 184- pound final. But, as has often been the case over the last two years, Ruth had too much firepower in a 7-3 victory. Heavyweight proved to be a down-to- the-wire affair. After getting by Oklahoma State’s Alan Gelogaev in the semifinals, Bradley (22-4) went to overtime to beat Nelson, 2-1. Like Dake and Taylor, this

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