ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell wrestling’s Frank Perrelli and Kyle Dake have been awarded wildcard positions for the 2012 Olympic Team Trials in men’s freestyle. The trials will be held April 21-22 in Iowa City, Iowa. USA Wrestling gave out eight of its 10 spots it was announced on Monday night. Perrelli and Dake will be joined at the event by Mack Lewnes ’11 who qualified for the trials in Las Vegas on Dec. 3.
Dake earns his wildcard spot after winning his third NCAA championship in St. Louis, Mo. March 17. The Big Red junior became the first wrestler to ever win titles at three different weight classes. He finished his third season with a perfect 35-0 record. Dake notched his 100th career victory with his 4-1 win over Derek St. John of Iowa in the NCAA finals.
Dake earns his spot at 74 kg (163 pounds) and joins NCAA champion David Taylor of Penn State in the weight class. Dake was a 2008 Junior World Team member in Greco-Roman. Last year, Dake took second at the 2011 University Nationals. He lost in the finals in three periods (3-1, 1-2, 1-0) to Andrew Howe, who is No. 2 on the freestyle team.
Perrelli placed fourth at the NCAA tournament this year to become an All-American. The Big Red senior wrapped up his Big Red career with a 110-41 overall record and is 12th in the Cornell career record books in victories.
Perrelli will wrestle at 55 kg (121 pounds) and joins 2012 NCAA champion Matt McDonough of Iowa in the weight class as wildcard recipients. The Big Red senior took fifth at the 2011 US Open in freestyle and was the 2010 University Nationals champion. Last season, Perrelli placed second at the 2011 University Nationals after dropping a 1-0, 2-1 decision to Brandon Precin in the finals. With his fifth place finish at the US Open, Perrelli qualified for the 2011 World Team Trials.
Lewnes ’11 qualified after placing second at 84 kg at the Men’s Freestyle Olympic Trials Qualifier on Dec. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Lewnes is the all-time winningest wrestler in Cornell history with 150 victories. He also tops the charts with 55 career falls. Lewnes is a three-time All-American, and was the NCAA runner up at 174 pounds in 2010. He is a four-time EIWA champion.
According to USA Wrestling, athletes can still qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials by competing in the Final U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifying Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa, March 31-April 1. The top two in each of the Olympic weight classes will earn a spot in the field in Iowa City.
Troy Nickerson ’10 will compete at the Final US Olympic Qualifying Tournament at 55 kg this weekend looking to earn a spot at the trials. Nickerson is the 2009 NCAA champion at 125 pounds and is a four-time All-American.
Men’s Freestyle 2012 Olympic Trials Wildcards
55 kg/121 lbs. – Matt McDonough, Marion, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Frank Perrelli, Hackettstown, N.J. (New York AC)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Logan Stieber, Monroeville, Ohio (New York AC)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Jordan Oliver, Easton, Pa. (Gator WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Phillip Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor, St. Paris, Ohio (Nittany Lion WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Quentin Wright, Wingate, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
–Courtesy of cornellbigred.com