Kokesh falls to Storley in quarters, earns All-American status
OKLAHOMA, Okla. — University of Nebraska-Lincoln wrestler and Wagner native Robert Kokesh secured All-American status for the second straight year after defeating Illinois’ Tony Dallago with an 8-2 decision in wrestlebacks.
Kokesh beat Pittsburgh’s Tyler Wilps in his final wrestleback of the day with a 2-1 decision.
While Kokesh’s day finished on a high note, it started with disappointment. The junior, who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed in the 174-pound weight class, had plans of reaching the national championship, but his plans were derailed as he fell in the quarterfinals to friend and Webster native Logan Storley, of Minnesota.
The matchup was a hotly contested one, which saw both wrestlers trade leads throughout the match. After neither wrestler scored in the first period, Storley took a 2-1 lead into the third period after scoring a reversal.
Kokesh got an escape in the third to force the match into sudden death. Neither wrestler scored a point in sudden death, sending the match into tiebreakers.
Storley took a 3-2 lead after the first tiebreaker, but Kokesh tied things up with an escape to force a second sudden death round. Kokesh started on the bottom and earned an escape to take a 4-3 lead, but Storley responded with an escape of his own to tie things back up at 4.
With time running out, Kokesh appeared to be on the verge of winning, due to riding time, but Storley got a takedown as time ran out to earn the dramatic win.
Storley lost to Oklahoma’s Andrew Howe in the semifinals and has the possibility of meeting Kokesh again in the final day of the tournament. The best each South Dakota wrestler could finish is third.