In his first competitive match after undergoing surgery, Kyle Dake added another achievement to his resume - Global Wrestling Championships welterweight champ. Dake earned a 2-0 cumulative advantage in the three round bout against Andrew Howe, fueled by a takedown in the opening period just before time expired. The second and third stanzas ended 0-0, although both wrestlers had opportunities to score.
"It was absolutely amazing coming back here at Cornell," Dake said after the match. "I love the fans, I love being here. I used to be up in the stands watching. It's great to be back."
Earlier in the afternoon, the first two Global Wrestling Championships titlewinners were crowned - Tony Ramos and Tervel Dlagnev.
Ramos, this year's Team USA representative at the World Championships, won the flyweight crown over Sam Hazewinkel. The former Iowa Hawkeye rode four takedowns and exposure to a 10-0 cumulative advantage, while winning three of the three-minute rounds. (The two other rounds were scoreless).
In the heavyweight division, Tervel Dlagnev recorded a takedown in the waning seconds of the opening round to go ahead 2-0. He then added a pushout and TD in the second to take a cumulative 5-0 advantage. It was the same story in the third, as Dlagnev clinched the belt by capturing his third consecutive round and a 9-0 victory.
The event began with a number of matches in a dual meet between Titan Mercury Wrestling Club and Finger Lakes Wrestling Club.
Coming out on top for TMWC were the following wrestlers: Joe Colon (61 kg, over Dalton Macri), Montell Marion (65 kg, over Joe Galasso), Nazar Kulchytsky (70 kg, over Nate Carr Jr.), Deron Winn (86 kg, over Ben Bennett) and Wynn Michalak (97 kg, over Enock Francois).
Photo by BV
Last November, Cornell hosted a USA vs. Russia Freestyle dual in which former Big Red star Kyle Dake took the mat and won.
Now, a year later, Dake will once again compete in front of the home crowd during the debut event of the Global Wrestling Championships on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We had the dual meet last year, which gave Cornell fans exposure to more freestyle,” Dake said. “This is almost like a second annual freestyle event for the fans in Ithaca. It’s really exciting to kick off this new event.”
Indeed, the Global Wrestling Championships will debut on Saturday with a star-studded lineup of accomplished wrestlers.
“Wayne Boyd from Titan Mercury Wrestling Club decided to put together ‘super matches’,” Dake said. “He was looking for highly regarded guys, both internationally and domestically, to come together and compete. He wants to make it something similar to UFC or boxing in the sense that there are a limited number of weights and big prize money for winning. The idea is to get more mainstream and try to get the average sports fan to buy into wrestling a little bit. It’s as good a time as any, less than two years out from the Olympics. Interest seems to rise when the Olympics come around.”
Those who watch will certainly see some of the nation’s best. Tony Ramos will meet Sam Hazewinkel in the flyweight match, Tervel Dlagnev will face Tyrell Fortune in the battle of big men and Dake will square off with Andrew Howe in the middleweights. [There will also be some additional matches between Titan Mercury and Finger Lakes Wrestling Club wrestlers].
“I respect Andrew as a wrestler,” Dake said. “He’s proven himself as a two-time world team member and he’s definitely got the skills needed to be there. I’m banking on my training. The last time we wrestled was a year and a half ago. [It was a 4-2 win by Dake in overtime after Dake defeated David Taylor and former World Team member Trent Paulson earlier in the day in June of 2013]. I know I’ve gotten better since then. I’m hoping that I’ve surpassed him.”
Dake had a long layoff from wrestling while recovering from surgeries on his foot. However, he’s been back on the mat and feels like he’s making progress.
“I’m seven months out of my first surgery,” he said. “I’ve been going at it for seven or eight weeks and I’m ready to go. I’m training full time, wrestling matches in practice, going really hard. I’m trying to get back all the time I lost with my injury. I’m not quite tournament ready yet. I mean, I could wrestle five matches in a row, but I don’t want to just wrestle them, I want to win them. I’m working toward better conditioning and getting my body able to recover faster after a match. I can definitely wrestle one match hard, but an entire tournament might be a different story right now.”
For at least this weekend, he has just one match to wrestle, which he said will be three periods, each lasting three minutes, with freestyle rules. Participants get $2500 to compete and the winner receives an additional $5,000.
“The great thing is that the Global Wrestling Championships are trying to grow something and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Dake said. “It will also be great to be in front of the Cornell crowd again.”
While seeing Dake’s return will surely be a highlight for those in attendance, the Global Wrestling Championships is one of a number of events scheduled for Ithaca over the weekend.
The festivities start in Barton Hall on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. with the New York Fall Festival Youth tournament presented by the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club. There will be 15U, 12U and 9U divisions with the top three finishers receiving custom medals, the champs taking home a NYWAY t-shirt and the top three teams earning plaques.
Running concurrently (starting at 10 a.m.) will be the College Club Duals including teams from Finger Lakes Prep, Stony Brook, SUNY Sullivan, Clarkson, Farmingdale State and Cortland Wrestling Club. The first round of meets begins at 10, with additional matches at 11:30 and 1 p.m.
The previously discussed Global Wrestling Championships at 2 p.m. will be followed by a high school dual between Section 4 squads Susquehanna Valley and Chenango Valley.
And then at 6:30, Cornell will kick off the 2014 campaign against the University of Oklahoma in a meeting of national powers. The Sooners bring three Associated Wrestling Press top 12-ranked grapplers to the table (Cody Brewer at 133, Justin DeAngelis at 157 and Ross Larson at 285), while the Big Red currently has seven representatives in the top 20 of the polls.
That’s not all. On Sunday, each of the Empire State’s 26 college teams will see action at the New York State Intercollegiate championships in Barton Hall (more on this event to come). Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with the NYS Hall of Fame inductions at 5 p.m. and the finals and awards from 5:30-6:30.
So, there will be youth, high school, college (Divisions 1, 2, 3, NJCAA and NCWA) and international wrestling on Cornell’s campus this weekend, including the return of Kyle Dake. For all levels of wrestling, Ithaca’s the place to be.
and/or call Cornell Athletics Ticket Office at:
New York Fall Festival Youth tournament, Barton Hall, 9 a.m.
College Club Duals, Barton Hall, 10 a.m.
Global Wrestling Championships, Bartels Hall, 2 p.m.
High school dual, Susquehanna Valley vs. Chenango Valley, Bartels Hall, 4:30 p.m.
Cornell vs. Oklahoma, Bartels Hall, 6:30 p.m.
New York State Intercollegiates, Barton Hall, 9 a.m.