DES MOINES, Iowa — Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple finished an unbeaten season with his first national crown at 141 pounds. With his 4-3 win over Edinboro’s Mitchell Port, Maple became the first Sooner to win the title bout since Teyon Ware claimed the 141-pound championship in 2005.
“It’s a feeling of absolute, total satisfaction,” beamed Maple. “It’s a great honor to be here, in this spot. I just love this sport.”
Maple’s lone takedown came at 2:13 in the first period. Port escaped to end the first period within a point of Maple, but Maple escaped in the second to take a 3-1 lead. Port added another escape in the third, while being awarded a tying point from a Maple stall. The junior from Wichita, Kan. sealed the victory with a riding time point.
“It was definitely closer than I wanted it to be,” expressed Maple. “Port is a go-hard. He comes at you the whole time, and I felt like I couldn’t really fire off my legs, I kind of tweaked my ankle and couldn’t really fire, so I was scared to shoot most of the match. He kind of pushed me, and I was glad to come out with it.”
With the title, he becomes Oklahoma’s 66th individual national champion in program history. Earlier in the day, Oklahoma’s redshirt freshman, Cody Brewer, finished seventh at 133 pounds.
Cornell senior Kyle Dake became the first wrestler in NCAA history to win four national titles at four weights Saturday night, and Penn State won the national team title for the third year in a row.
The 165-pound Dake beat defending champion David Taylor of Penn State 5-4, joining Cael Sanderson and Pat Smith as four-time NCAA champions.
Penn State had 123.5 points. Oklahoma State was second with 119.5, and Minnesota third with 103 points.
Chris Perry earlier gave OSU a 1-point lead with a win over Penn State’s Matt Brown at 174-pounds.