Welcome to Day 4 of WIN Magazine’s countdown to the 2023 Final...
Dake beats Taylor for U.S. Open title at heavier weight
USA Wrestling hosted its U.S. Senior Nationals last weekend and the men’s freestyle highlight saw a pair of Hodge Trophy winners meet — Kyle Dake, formerly of Cornell, and David Taylor, from Penn State — meet in heavier weight class than they wrestled in previous years.
Dake, representing the Titan Mercury WC scored points in big spurts and defeated Taylor of the Nittany Lion WC, 11-4, to win the gold medal at 86 kg/189 pounds at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This year’s U.S. Senior Nationals were moved to December as automatic qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Team Trials with the top seven finishers in the three different styles qualifying for the Trials, held April 8—9 in Iowa City, Iowa.
Dake got things rolling early, jumping to an 8-0 lead with a takedown and a series of turns. Taylor closed the score to 8-4, getting his takedown offense going. After a Taylor takedown, Dake quickly scored a reversal and a turn to make it 11-4 at the break. The second period saw no scoring, although Taylor got some good attacks which were defended by Dake effectively. It was Dake’s first U.S. Nationals title.
“I think a lot of it has to do with my confidence and letting him in on my legs,” Dake said. “He’s a really tough guy and that’s something I need to improve on is not letting guys get to my legs as much.”
Last year, Dake beat Taylor at the World Team Trials at 74 kg/163 lbs. and finished second behind three-time World and 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, while Taylor was third. Both moved up to 86 kg this season. Dake has beaten Taylor in all of their past meetings in both folkstyle and freestyle.
Claiming the Outstanding Wrestler award and his second career national title was Jimmy Kennedy of the New York AC, who defeated Logan Stieber of the Titan Mercury WC, 9-2. The match was tied at 2-2 at the break, but Kennedy broke it open by getting four points on a counter throw in the second. A Stieber protest was denied, making it 7-2, then a final Kennedy takedown closed out the victory.
“It was a good tournament. I wrestled solid the entire time and I’ve always been a solid wrestler, but putting a lot of points on the board, I think I failed to live up to that the last couple of years. Now I feel comfortable and I’m not really too worried about getting scored on because I know if I keep pushing the pace, I’m going to be able to score points,” said Kennedy.
The following are the medal match results from the men’s freestyle matches.
1st – Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa. (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids), 10-0, 1:23
3rd – Coleman Scott, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids) Erkin Tadzhimetov (NYAC), 7-3
5th – Nathan Tomasello (Titan Mercury WC) inj. dft. over Joe Colon (Titan Mercury WC)
7th – Angel Escobedo (NYAC) dec. Ali Naser (Sunkist Kids), 3-1
1st – Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC) dec. Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), 9-2
3rd – Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (NYAC) tech. fall Aaron Pico (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0
5th – Kellen Russell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (NYAC/CKWC) inj. dft. Frank Molinaro (Nittany Lion WC)
7th – Jason Chamberlain (Titan Mercury WC) tech fall Bernard Futrell (TMWC/CKWC), 12-2
1st – Andrew Howe, Norman, Okla. (New York AC) dec. Chris Perry, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC), 3-2
3rd – Nick Marable (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) won by decision over Logan Massa (NYAC/CKWC) (Dec 4-2)
5th – Adam Hall, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club) disq. over Kevin LeValley (Buffalo Valley RTC)
7th – Quinton Godley (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Vladyslav Dombrovskiy (Army WCAP), 6-5
1st – Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC), 11-4
3rd – Keith Gavin (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club) won by decision over Jon Reader (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) (Dec 5-2)
5th Place Match – Richard Perry (NYAC/PWC) won by decision over Clayton Foster (GRIT Athletics – WY RTC) (Dec 5-0)
7th – Tyler Caldwell (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) forfeit over Edward Ruth (Sunkist Kids)
1st – Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Scott Schiller, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 12-4
3rd – Kyven Gadson (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) won by tech fall over Dustin Kilgore (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) (TF 11-1)
5th – Micah Burak (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club) dec. Jeffery Felix (TMWC/CKWC), 8-2
7th – Enock Francois (NYAC) dec. Deron Winn (Titan Mercury WC), 4-1
1st – Dom Bradley, Morgantown, W.Va. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Tyrell Fortune, Tempe, Ariz. (Titan Mercury WC), 5-3
3rd – Bobby Telford (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club) won by decision over Anthony Nelson (Minnesota Storm) (Dec 5-2)
5th – Eric Thompson (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) won by tech fall over Connor Medbery (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club) (TF 11-0)
7th – Justin Grant (NYAC) dec. Matthew Meuleners (Titan Mercury WC), 7-2