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EIWA Hall of Fame Class of 2014 to include Dake, Jantzen, Pottruck, Valenti

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Kyle Dake, Jesse Jantzen, David Pottruck and Matt Valenti have been selected to be inducted into the EIWA Hall of Fame, the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Hall of Fame Committee announced Monday.

The Class of 2014 will be welcomed into the Hall prior to the 2014 EIWA Championship finals at the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania on Sunday, March 9.

Two of the honorees are Penn graduates, with Cornell University and Harvard each claiming one new member.

Dake, a 2013 graduate of Cornell, completed his college career as only the third four-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion, and the first to achieve this honor in four different weight classes, and without taking advantage of a redshirt. A product of Lansing, N.Y., Dake was a three-time EIWA champ who compiled an overall record of 137-4. In addition to four titles, Dake was named Outstanding Wrestler of the 2013 NCAAs, earned InterMat Wrestler of the Year and WIN (Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine) Hodge Award as best college wrestler for 2013, and was named Sports Illustrated’s Best Male College Athlete for the year.

Jantzen, who graduated from Harvard in 2004, was a three-time All-American, winning the 149-pound title at the 2004 NCAAs… becoming the school’s second-ever national champ, and the first in 66 years. That year, he earned Outstanding Wrestler honors at the NCAAs. A three-time EIWA champ, Jantzen compiled a 114-6 college record. Jantzen also found considerable success in international freestyle competition, and, in 2005, was a participant in Real Pro Wrestling, a form amateur-style wrestling in which participants competed for money, much like new ventures such as Agon, Tour ACW, and Victory Wrestling Challenge. In addition, Jantzen helped actor Mark Ruffalo prepare for his role as late Olympic gold medalist Dave Schultz in the upcoming Foxcatcher movie.

Pottruck was captain of the football and wrestling teams at Penn. As a Quaker, he was a runner-up at 190 pounds at the 1969 EIWA championships. Pottruck graduated with honors from The Wharton School, earning a BS in 1970 and a Wharton MBA in 1971, then launched a successful business career, serving on numerous corporate boards. He is also a generous supporter of Penn wrestling.

A 2007 Penn graduate, Valenti was only the second two-time NCAA champion in school history (joining Dick DiBattista), winning back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007. A three-time NCAA All-American, Valenti was also a three-time EIWA champ. In addition having earned medals in freestyle competition, Valenti has turned his talents to coaching, first as an assistant at Columbia University, then joining the staff at his alma mater in 2009.

“The Committee is particularly proud of this outstanding class of new EIWA Hall of Fame members,” said EIWA Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Jamie Moffatt (who also co-authored the 2013 book "Saving Wrestling" about the IOC decision to eliminate, then reinstate Olympic wrestling). “Four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake is recognized as the best wrestler in the 100+ year history of Cornell University’s wrestling program; the same holds true of Jesse Jantzen’s record at Harvard University and Matt Valenti’s accomplishments at the University of Pennsylvania. David Pottruck is well-known and admired for his most generous support of athletics, particularly wrestling, at Penn, this year’s EIWA tournament host school. We are very honored to include these men into our Hall of Fame.”

Want to know more? For more detailed write-ups of each Class of 2014 honoree, check out the EIWA’s Hall of Fame announcement.

About the photo: Three of the EIWA Hall of Fame Class of 2014 inductees (from left): Kyle Dake, Jesse Jantzen, and Matt Valenti.

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