Kyle Dake (Photo/John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)STILLWATER, Okla. -- The Kid keeps winning.
Kyle Dake shined in Friday's opening session at the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials, winning the Challenge Tournament as the No. 5 seed at 74 kilos in men's freestyle. He will now face World and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs in tonight's best-of-three finals.
Dake's run through the Challenge Tournament included victories over three past NCAA champions. He opened with an 8-1 technical fall over 2009 World Team member Trent Paulson. He followed that up with a 7-3 victory in the semifinals over David Taylor. Dake then won a hard-fought battle over Andrew Howe, 4-2, scoring with a crotch lift in overtime, in a match that lasted nearly 12 minutes.
Jimmy Kennedy, a New York AC and Guelph Open champion this year, earned a spot in the finals at 60 kilos in men's freestyle. He will face U.S. Open champion Reece Humphrey. Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott was forced to injury default out of the tournament in his first match against Brandon Wright.
Kennedy dominated Andrew Hochstrasser 7-0 in his opening match. He then edged past Junior World silver medalist Logan Stieber 5-4 in the semifinals. Kennedy then came from behind late to defeat 2011 World Team member Nick Simmons 11-7 in the Challenge Tournament finals.
Chris Pendleton went unscored upon with three technical fall victories to reach the finals at 96 kilos. His victories came over Scott Schiller, Micah Burak, and Dustin Kilgore. Pendleton will face J.D. Bergman tonight in rematch of the U.S. Open finals.
Spenser Mango and Nate Engel advanced to the finals at 55 kilos in Greco-Roman. Mango pinned Dmitry Ryabchinskiy, while Engel earned a 2-1 victory over Max Nowry.
Tonight's finals at 66 kilos in Greco-Roman will pit two Olympians against each other: Ellis Coleman and Justin Lester. Coleman, who moved up this year from 60 kilos, recorded two shutout victories in the opening session. Lester started his day with a fall over Santonio Thompson, and then squeaked past U.S. Open runner-up Kendrick Sanders, 2-1.
U.S. Open champion Jordan Holm and Peter Hicks punched their tickets to the finals at 84 kilos in Greco-Roman. Both earned technical fall victories in both matches.
David Arendt Jr. and Robbie Smith will meet in the finals at 96 kilos in Greco-Roman. Arendt advanced with two technical falls, while Smith advanced with a technical fall and pin. In one of the most surprising developments of of the opening session, multiple-time World medalist Dremiel Byers dropped matches to Toby Erickson and Nye, and failed to place in the top four.
In women's freestyle, World champion Adeline Gray was dominant at 72 kilos in the opening session, winning three matches by technical fall without surrendering a point. She will meet U.S. Open champion Brittney Roberts in the finals. The other finals match will pit World silver medalist Helen Maroulis against past Junior World champion Whitney Conder at 55 kilos.
Tonight's best-of-three finals take place at 6 p.m. CT.
60 kilos: Reece Humphrey (New York AC) vs. Jimmy Kennedy (New York AC)
74 kilos: Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids) vs. Kyle Dake (Titan Mercury WC)
J.D. Bergman (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC) vs. Chris Pendleton (Titan Mercury WC)
55 kilos: Spenser Mango (U.S. Army) vs. Nate Engel (U.S. Army)
66 kilos: Ellis Coleman (New York AC) vs. Justin Lester (U.S. Army)
84 kilos: Jordan Holm (Minnesota Storm) vs. Peter Hicks (U.S. Army)
120 kilos: David Arendt Jr. (U.S. Marines) vs. Robbie Smith (New York AC)
55 kilos: Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) vs. Whitney Conder (U.S. Army)
72 kilos: Brittney Roberts (Gator Women's RTC) vs. Adeline Gray (New York AC)