Kyle Dake '13 Defeats Burroughs, Becomes Cornell Wrestling's Fifth Olympian
April 04, 2021


FORT WORTH, Texas - Kyle Dake '13 defeated Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs in a best-of-three series on Saturday night at the 2021 Olympic Team Trials to become the United States' representative at 74kg for the Tokyo Olympics. Dake defeated Burroughs in consecutive matches, 3-0, 3-2, to become the fifth Cornell wrestler to compete at the Olympics and the first since Dave Auble '60 in 1964.

Wrestling at both 79 and 74kg, Dake hasn't dropped a freestyle match since January of 2018 with a 13-0 record against world and Olympic medalists. In total, Dake is 43-0 in that time frame and has outscored his opponents 331-41.

"I put in the time, work and discipline to become an Olympian and dethrone Jordan," Dake said following the match. "I went out, competed, and put it all out there. It feels like it's been a long time coming for me, I've always been right there."

Dake was the only wrestler on the scoreboard in match one against Burroughs, marking the first time the five-time world champion was held scoreless in a freestyle bout since match one of his semifinal against Ashraf Aliyev at the 2011 World Wrestling Championships.

In the first period, Dake got out to a 1-0 lead after forcing a step out from Burroughs. Dake extended his lead to 3-0 early in the second period when a Burroughs shot attempt led to a scramble. Burroughs got in on the leg of Dake with a single leg attack, but the shot was well defended and ended with Dake on top for two points.

With 30 seconds remaining in match one, Burroughs went to his signature blast double but Dake defended well and forced a stalemate to close out the bout.

Dake scored early once again in match two, taking a 1-0 lead over Burroughs on a step out. The call on the mat was originally two for Dake on a takedown, but Burroughs' corner challenged and won after it was found that Burroughs' knee never touched.

Dake's defense prevailed throughout the entire match, defending shots from Burroughs and using them to create offense. In the second period, Dake took a 3-0 lead after exposing Burroughs' back. With 30 seconds to wrestle, Burroughs found two late points after a Dake step out and passivity.

"Jordan is one of the best we've ever had," Dake said. "He's a great ambassador for the sport and really pushed and motivated me. I'm happy with all of the work I've put in to get here and to finally accomplish that goal of making the Olympic team."

Vito Arujau competed in the 57kg championship series finals against Thomas Gilman on Saturday night, falling in the best-of-three series, 2-0. Gilman defeated Arujau by fall in the first bout and by criteria in the second. Arujau held a 4-0 lead over Gilman in match one before a barrage of points from Gilman put the bout out of reach prior to the fall. Gilman survived a series of late attacks from Arujau in match two to hang on via criteria.

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics officially kick off on July 23, 2021 with men's freestyle wrestling action starting towards the end of the games on August 4-7. Dake is unlikely to be seeded in Tokyo since he competed at the non-Olympic weight of 79kg at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships.