Dake defeats Taylor, Cornell finishes fifth at Scuffle

1/3/2013
Cornell University Sports Information

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Mike Nevinger and Kyle Dake won individual titles as the Big Red wrestling team placed fifth at the Southern Scuffle. Dake was only the second wrestler in history to win four titles. At 184 pounds, senior Steve Bosak placed second, while freshman Nahshon Garrett was third at 125 pounds. Also placing were Chris Villalonga (5th, 149), Marshall Peppelman (8th, 174) and Jace Bennett (7th, 197).

At 141 pounds, Nevinger faced No. 4 Undrakhbayar Khishignaym of the Citadel in the finals. The two were scoreless after the first period. The Citadel wrestler reversed Nevinger from his starting down position in the second, but the Big Red grappler escaped to come within a point. Khishignaym chose to start the third at neutral. Khishignaym tried to throw Nevinger, but Nevinger flipped him and came out on top to win a 3-2 decision. No. 9 Nevinger faced No. 11 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota in the semifinals. Dardanes shot right off the whistle for a double leg takedown. The two wrestlers traded reversals, and Nevinger added an escape to come within a point. Nevinger chose down to start the second and rolled out for a quick escape. Dardanes chose neutral to start the third. Nevinger notched a takedown, but Dardanes escaped. With 1:25 in riding time, Nevinger won a 7-5 decision.

Kyle Dake (Photo/Cornell Sports Information)
At 165 pounds, Dake shot at No. 2 David Taylor of Penn State right off the whistle and looked to have a takedown, but Taylor caught hold of his leg at the last second. After a scoreless first period, Dake chose to start the second at neutral. Dake almost worked his way to a reversal two different times, but settled for a one point escape. Taylor started the third down on the mat. The Nittany Lion wrestler twisted Dake's leg and came out on top to take a 1-2 lead with a reversal. Taylor had over a minute of riding time. Dake would reverse him again and wound down the riding time to win a 3-2 decision. Dake made quick work of his No. 7 ranked opponent in the semifinals. He grabbed Virginia's Nick Sulzer around the waist and took him down to the mat early in the period. Dake immediately went to work turning the Cavaliers' wrestler and won by fall in 1:21.

At 184 pounds, No. 2 Bosak faced No. 1 Ed Ruth of Penn State. Ruth won the 2012 NCAA title at 174 pounds. Ruth converted two double leg takedowns in the first to hold a 4-1 lead. Ruth reversed Bosak from his starting down position in the second, but Bosak twisted free for an escape. Bosak escaped from his opening down position in the third. Bosak shot numerous times in the third looking to score, but with 2:55 in riding time, Ruth won a 7-3 decision. In the semifinals, Bosak faced third ranked, Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus. Bosak was close to a takedown off a leg sweep at the end of the first, but time ran out before he was able to put points on the board. Steinhaus chose to start the second period down, but Bosak muscled his way to two minutes in riding time. Bosak almost reversed the Golden Gophers' wrestler to start the third, but Steinhaus managed to only allow an escape. With 1:49 riding time, Bosak won a 2-0 decision to advance to the finals.

In the match for third place, No. 10 Garrett took on Josh Martinez of Airforce. Garrett racked up takedowns and back points on his way to a 17-5 major decision. In the semifinals, Garrett faced No. 2 ranked Niko Megaludis of Penn State. Megaludis shot early, but Garrett's strong defense kept the match at 0-0. With 26 seconds left in the period, the Penn State grappler finished a takedown to take a two point lead. Garrett quickly twisted to his feet to start the second. The Big Red rookie took lots of shots late in the period, but Megaludis evaded him. Megaludis escaped midway through the period to win 3-1. In the consolation semifinals, Garrett racked up back points and takedowns on his way to a 17-3 major decision over Jerome Robinson of Old Dominion.

At 149 pounds, Chris Villalonga took on Oklahoma State's Jordan Oliver in the semifinals. The No. 1 ranked Oliver racked up takedowns and back points, and with riding time won by an 18-3 technical fall. In the consolation semifinals, Villalonga injury defaulted to Drake Houdashelt of Missouri in 3:21. Villalonga placed fifth after his opponent forfeited out of the tournament.

Cornell will be back in action on Sunday when the Big Red takes on Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. for a 2 p.m. start.

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