ITHACA, N.Y. -- On Kyle Dake Day, sophomore Max Dean put up a dominant effort worthy of the four-time national champion and lifted ninth-ranked Cornell over upset-minded West Virginia 20-15 on Saturday afternoon at Newman Arena. The Big Red improved to 2-0 on the season.
West Virginia took a 9-0 lead in the dual after three matches and held a 15-11 edge with two bouts remaining. Brandon Womack took care of business with a tight 6-4 win over Josh Ramirez at 174 pounds, with ninth-ranked Max Dean needing a win to clinch the dual. He did so in a big way.
Using a series of takedowns and turns, the sophomore built a 16-2 lead before locking in a cradle with under 30 seconds left in the first period. He was able to square off Jackson Moomau's shoulders 10 seconds later for the fall to keep the Big Red unbeaten.
The dual was split 5-5, but bonus points decided the match. In addition to Dean's pin, freshman Vito Arujau won by a 17-3 major decision at 133 and Fredy Stroker dominated for a 11-1 major at 157.
With only four expected starters in the lineup at their own weight class, West Virginia was able to take advantage of Cornell's inexperience - three of the Big Red's losses came against a wrestler in their first weekend of collegiate duals.
Trailing 9-0, Arujau brought the Big Red to life, narrowly missing out on a tech fall, but thoroughly dominating Caleb Read at 133. Chas Tucker, moving up from 133 where he is ranked No. 15, controlled his match for a 6-2 triumph over Luke Martin to get the home team back within 9-7 at the break.
After Dake, the 2018 World Champion, was honored at halftime, West Virginia extended its lead with a one-point win at 149 to go up 12-7. Stroker dominated from the opening whistle for his win at 157, but the Mountaineers again went up by four with a victory at 165, leaving Womack and Dean to clinch the dual meet win. An upset at either weight would have given West Virginia the upset, but Womack erased an early takedown deficit to edge out the win at 174, and Dean put the hammer down in the final match of the evening to send the Big Red fans home happy.
A contingent of Cornell wrestlers will compete in the New York State Intercollegiate Championship at Barton Hall tomorrow.
197: Noah Adams (WVU) won by decision over #18 Ben Honis, 13-7
285: David Smith (WVU) won by decision over Brendan Furman (C), 9-5
125: KJ Fenstermacher (WVU) won by decision over Dominic LaJoie (C), 8-3
133: Vito Arujau (C) won by major decision over Caleb Rea (WVU), 17-3
141: #15 Chas Tucker (C) won by decision over Luke Martin (WVU), 6-2
149: Christian Moserrat (WVU) won by decision over Hunter Richard (C), 8-7
157: Fredy Stroker (C) won by major decision over Hunter Jones (WVU), 11-1
165: Nick Kiussis (WVU) won by decision over Milik Dawkins (C), 7-1
174: #16 Brandon Womack (C) won by decision over Josh Ramirez (WVU), 6-4
184: #9 Max Dean (C) won by fall over Jackson Moomau (WVU), 2:46