(L-R) Kyle Dake and J'Den Cox competing in the 86kg freestyle championship match at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials April 10, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa.
The two-month wait paid off for Kyle Dake on Saturday.
Dake, who is the defending world champion in men’s freestyle wrestling in the 79 kg. weight class, secured his spot on the U.S. team for the 2019 World Wrestling Championships by defeating Alex Dieringer in their delayed Final X match on Saturday in Round Rock, Texas.
Dake swept to a victory, winning the first two rounds, 3-2 and 4-2. A third round in the best-of-three match was not needed.
Their match was originally set to take place in June during the other Final X matches, which determine the spots on the world team in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. However, Dake was injured at the time and requested a delay of the match, which was approved by USA Wrestling.
The bout matched up wrestlers with a combined seven NCAA championships. Dake, a runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, won four NCAA titles at Cornell. Dieringer, a three-time champion at Oklahoma State, advanced to the Final X match by winning the U.S. Open in April and World Team Trials Challenge in May.
The World Wrestling Championships will be held September 14-22 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Freestyle wrestlers on the world team include two-time Olympian Jordan Burroughs, who won his Final X match on June 15 against Isaiah Martinez. He’ll be going after his fifth world title in the 74 kg. weight class in Kazakhstan.
Other men’s freestyle wrestlers on the team are Daton Fix, 57 kg.; Tyler Graff, 61 kg.; James Green, 70 kg.; J’den Cox, 92 kg.; Kyle Snyder, 97 kg.; and Nick Gwiazdowski, 125 kg.
The women’s freestyle team is led by 2016 Olympian Adeline Gray at 76 kg. Gray, a six-time world medalist, tied a U.S. women’s record last year by winning her fourth world title. Also on the women’s team are Whitney Conder, 50 kg.; Sarah Hildebrandt, 53 kg.; Jacarra Winchester, 55 kg.; Jenna Burkert, 57 kg.; Alli Ragan, 59 kg.; Kayla Miracle, 62 kg.; Forrest Molinari, 65 kg.; Tamyra Mensah-Stock, 68 kg.; and Victoria Francis, 72 kg.
On the Greco-Roman team are Max Nowry, 55 kg.; Ildar Hafizov, 60 kg.; Ryan Mango, 63 kg.; Ellis Coleman, 67 kg.; Raymond Bunker, 72 kg.; Pat Smith, 77 kg.; John Stefanowicz, 82 kg.; Joe Rau, 87 kg.; G’Angelo Hancock, 97 kg.; and Adam Coon, 130 kg.