Kyle Dake's resume heading into this weekend was one that was nearly unmatched by any wrestler considering the accolades and the competition. After all of the wins, Dake finally has a spot in the lineup as he will head to the World Championships for the first time getting rid of the one thing that has eluded him. David Taylor is also on the team for the first time and both are expected to be medal favorites even without previous trips to draw off from. Dake was able to dispatch the reigning NCAA champion, Zahid Valencia, as he prevented the phenom from finishing on several promising shots. Taylor may have been too hyped in his home gym giving up the first takedown of the series. After that, it was all man of magic scoring 23 straight points. After being stuck in a log jam of upper weight talent, Dake & Taylor are finally unleashed on the world.
The All-Buckeye 65 kg final was back & forth in the first match and there were moments that McKenna may have the upper hand. A veteran capitalization of McKenna not conceeding a tripod led to a 4-point suplex for Stieber and that gave him the 8-8 criteria win. Another non-concession of a takedown led to a 4-point award on a Stieber shot and that led to forced desperation and a 8-0 win in match two. This will be the third straight year which Logan Stieber competes in the World Championships, but the first one up at 65 kg.
After an injury and a wedding, Adeline Gray is back on Team USA after missing 2017. She wrestled for only a little over two minutes to secure her spot. She has competed a lot this winter and spring with a win over the defending world champion and only just one defeat when she was caught and pinned by Mae (Estonia), an opponent she routinely bests. USA Women finished tied for 2nd in 2017, which is something considering that was without any points from Adeline, a favorite in 2018 to win her 4th world championship.
The other two women's series gave us our first match three's of the summer. Kayla Miracle took her first match, but gave up counters in match two and then early in match three forcing her to chase sending Mallory Velte back to the World Championships for the second year in a row. Erin Clodgo is heading to her second World Championships (2015) after also surviving an opponent coming off the college season. Rachel Watters stormed into the second match staying to the outside to stay away from the scrambles from Clodgo. In the third, Clodgo got a crotch lift to take a 3-2 lead scrambling off an outside shot. Watters then scored a takedown, but gave up a snatch single and step out in the closing seconds to lose on criteria.
Next week Lehigh hosts to close out the Freestyle spots.
FINAL X IN STATE COLLEGE
At State College, Pa., June 16
Men's freestyle 65 kg
Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) dec. Joseph McKenna, Towaco, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), two matches to none
Bout One – Stieber dec. McKenna, 8-8
Bout Two – Stieber dec. McKenna, 8-0
Women's freestyle 62 kg
Mallory Velte, Sacramento, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout One – Miracle dec. Velte, 4-2
Bout Two – Velte dec. Miracle, 4-2
Bout Three – Velte dec. Miracle 7-1
Bout Three - Women's freestyle 72 kg
Erin Clodgo, Richmond, Vermont (Sunkist Kids) dec. Rachel Watters, Ankeny, Iowa (New York AC/Aires WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Clodgo dec. Watters, 4-2
Bout Two – Watters dec. Clodgo, 8-0
Bout Three – Clodgo dec. Watters, 4-4
Bout Four - Men's freestyle 79 kg
Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Zahid Valencia, Bellflower, Calif. (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout One – Dake dec. Valencia, 4-0
Bout Two – Dake dec. Valencia, 4-3
Bout Five - Women's freestyle 76 kg
Adeline Gray, Kingston, Pa. (New York AC) dec. Korinahe Bullock, Cahokia, Ill. (McKendree Bearcat WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Gray tech. fall Bullock, 10-0
Bout Two – Gray pin Bullock, 1:04
Bout Six - Men's freestyle 86 kg
David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Nick Reenan, Dallas, Texas (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC), two matches to none
Bout One – Taylor tech. fall Reenan, 13-2
Bout Two – Taylor tech. fall Reenan, 10-0