DES MOINES, Iowa —
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Cornell senior Kyle Dake became the first wrestler in NCAA history to win four national titles at four weights Saturday night, and Penn State won the national team title for the third year in a row.
The 165-pound Dake beat defending champion David Taylor of Penn State 5-4, joining Cael Sanderson and Pat Smith as four-time NCAA champions.
It feels amazing,” Dake said. “I’m just really glad that I was able to accomplish my goals.”
Penn State’s Ed Ruth and Quentin Wright won NCAA titles in back-to-back matches to seal the fourth national crown for the Nittany Lions and their third under Sanderson.
Oklahoma State, which came into the day 201⁄2 points behind the Nittany Lions, finished a strong second.
Penn State had 1231⁄2 points, compared to 1191⁄2 for OSU.
The Cowboys crowned two individual champions in 174-pounder Chris Perry and 148-pounder Jordan Oliver.
Oklahoma had one individual champion in 141-pounder Kendal Maple.
The Cowboys had five other All-Americans — Jon Morrison, fifth, 133; Alex Dieringer, third, 157; Tyler Caldwell, third, 165; Blake Rosholt, eighth, 197; and Alan Gelogaevm third, 285.
Cody Brewer, who was seventh at 133 pounds, was OU’s other All-American.
Perry put the Cowboys briefly ahead in the team total when he defeated Penn State’s Matthew Brown, 2-1 in the first match of the evening.
Perry finished the season at 35-2.
Oliver completed a perfect 38-0 season by beating Jason Chamberlain of Boise State, 3-2. It was Oliver’s second-straight NCAA title. He had a takedown with 12 seconds left to secure the win.
Maple completed a perfect 30-0 season by defeating Mitchell Port of Edinboro, 4-3.
The team race took a rare backsea to Dake.
Wrestling fans had been salivating over the idea of a Dake-Taylor final since the day Dake announced his move to 165 pounds.
Dake had won titles at 141, 149 and 157 pounds. He boldly jumped up a class even though Taylor, the 2012 Hodge Trophy winner as the nation’s best wrestler, stood in his way.
The NCAA shifted its schedule to make the 165-pound matchup the finale, presumably to maximize a probable Dake-Taylor meeting.
It didn’t disappoint.
Taylor took down Dake in 18 seconds for a quick 2-0 lead, but Dake answered with a takedown and an escape to jump ahead 4-2 after two periods.
Dake was called for a late stall, tying the match at 4-all, but Dake used his advantage in riding time to close Taylor out.
“He made me a better wrestler. He really pushed me,” Dake said. “I owe him a lot.”
Even though Taylor fell short, his teammates did not.
Penn State wrapped up the team crown earlier in the evening, as Wright upset top-seeded Dustin Kilgore of Kent State 8-6 at 197 pounds to give the Nittany Lions an insurmountable lead over OSU.
Wright sealed the victory with a pair of impressive late takedowns of Kilgore, an NCAA champion in 2011 who had won 62 straight matches.
“I knew one of us had to take it upon our shoulders to get it and I thought ‘Why not me? Let’s go out there. Let’s win this,” Wright said.
Ruth won his second straight national title with a 12-4 win over Robert Hamlin of Lehigh. Ruth finished with a takedown to clinch a major decision, giving the Nittany Lions a crucial extra team point.
“I looked over at the coaches and (they) were just saying ‘Cut him. Cut him.’ I was like, ‘Oh wow, he must be going for a major then,”’ Ruth said.