Kilgore Comes Up Two Points Shy of Perfect Season
DES MOINES- Dustin Kilgore's brilliant collegiate career came to an end with an 8-6 loss to Penn State's Quentin Wright in the finals of the NCAA Championships Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The fifth-year senior's 62-match winning streak was halted in a back-and-forth battle to the end.
The score was knotted 3-3 after the opening period as each wrestler converted on a takedown. Wright chose down and escaped in the second, while Kilgore chose down in the third and escaped to tie things up 4-4. A pair of third period takedowns by Wright made the different as he got in on under-hooks, setting up outside single-leg shots.
"Dustin just couldn't seem to get close to him," Head Coach Jim Andrassy said of Wright's height and reach from the neutral position. "We knew it was going to be a tough matchup for him."
Wright, the No. 2 seed, finished his season 32-0. A 2011 NCAA champion at 184, Wright was an NCAA runner-up at 184 last season, before moving up to 197.
Four victories over the three-day tournament gave Kilgore 43 wins, breaking Kent State's single-season record which he set in 2011. He also finishes as Kent State's career leader in wins (174), pins (50) and is its only three-time All-American.
"Dustin's helped our program take that next step," Andrassy said. "He's one of the greatest athletes in Kent State's history. I think this is going to drive him to do better at the next level."
Kilgore will graduate from Kent State in May and will head back to United State Olympic Training Center in Colorado to continue his freestyle career.
Behind Kilgore's efforts the Golden Flashes finished 24th in the final team standings. It was Kent State's fourth Top 25 finish in the last five seasons.