Kyle Dake, a wrestler on his way to his fourth world title, compared his journey to climbing Mount Everest. Dake dominated Jason Norph in their previous three-round 74kg series last June. He acknowledges that everything is constantly changing, from one’s health, mental state, and life circumstances to facing different opponents on the mat. Despite a new practice partner and a new zip code where he now trains with Norf, Dake remains committed to giving his all.
Nolf defeated former Penn State teammate Vincenzo Joseph at the U.S. Open in April. When asked about Dake, Nolf said he just keeps training and doing his thing. Four meetings over the past 28 months have shown Dake’s strength, balanced skill set, and expertise in controlling the middle of the mat. He also responds quickly with quick goals whenever he faces a backseat.
Dake defeated Norph 5-0 at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club in February 2021, and was responsible for all of the points in the first period. He defeated Norf again a few months later at the Olympic Trials, hitting him with a quick low single and launching him five times before taking the win with 42. However, Norph closed the gap in their June 2023 rematch series, and Dake had to come back to win both games, 4-2 and 2-1.
Dake’s limited schedule over the past 12 months has been a struggle. Despite this, he won four world titles, with dominant performances at the Pan Am Championships, and shutout victories with technical superiority. Norf won the Zagreb Open in February, beating Iran’s Emami Chogay 3-3 in the final. He bounced back from an early four-point deficit to defeat Joseph 10-5 and secure a spot in the Final X.
Final X is an annual event offered at Beat the Streets New York, helping the organization raise over $1 million each year to support local youth wrestling programs in New York City. This year’s event will be the 13th BTSNY annual reward, with an afterparty held after Final X ends.