A Cornell sophomore won the NCAA wrestling championship, becoming the first Cornellian to win a national wrestling title since Kyle Dake did so in 2013.

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Gabe Dean defeated Lehigh’s Nathaniel Brown 6-2 in the finals of the championship in St. Louis, Missouri, in the 184-pound bracket.

Dean is the second Big Red wrestler to win a national title at that weight class, joining 2012 national champ Steve Bosak, according to a statement from the university.

A statement from Cornell recounts how Dean did it:

“The Lehigh grappler took the bottom position and was able to get out, but not before Dean was able to surpass a minute of riding time.

With 90 seconds to go for a national title and leading 3-2 with a riding time point in his pocket, the sophomore avoided Brown’s offense before getting a late takedown to make it 5-2 and put the match away.

With the riding time, Dean won his first national title 6-2 and closed the season a perfect 4-0 against Brown.

Also at the tournament, sophomore Brian Realbuto finished second at 157 pounds and finished sixth at NCAAs a season ago and ended with a 23-3 record.

“Cornell’s fifth-place finish is the program’s sixth in the last seven years at NCAAs, and the Big Red crowned a national champion for the seventh time in eight years with a total of nine champs,” the university said in a statement. “Head coach Rob Koll has had at least four All-Americans in 10 of his last 11 seasons – the Big Red had three in the other season.”


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.