Dunham ’26 Completes Run at NCAA Wrestling Championships

VMI 133-pounder Dyson Dunham ’26 completed a strong finish to the season, including defeating Indiana University’s Cayden Rooks 9-5 at the NCAA Wrestling Championships run at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, March 21, 2024.—Photo courtesy VMI Athletics.

VMI 133-pounder Dyson Dunham ’26 completed a strong finish to the season as his NCAA Wrestling Championships run came to a close at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, March 21, 2024.

No. 33 Dunham (VMI) defeats No. 32 Cayden Rooks (Indiana), 9-5

Wrestling in the pigtail match for an opportunity to enter the championship bracket, Dunham defeated Indiana University’s Rooks by a 9-5 decision.

After a quick takedown by Rooks, Dunham responded with an escape and a takedown of his own as the duo grappled to a 4-4 tie after the first period.

Choosing down, Rooks earned an escape to open the second period, and Dunham achieved the same result to open the third period as the two tied it up at 5-5 in the final period. The pair grappled for position for about one minute before Dunham earned a thrilling takedown with about 23 seconds left in the period for an 8-5 advantage.

Dunham was awarded an additional point due to a Rooks penalty to finish the bout with a 9-5 decision.

No. 1 Daton Fix (Oklahoma State) tech falls Dunham (VMI), 17-1

Facing the No. 1-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, Dunham fell to Oklahoma State’s Fix by a 17-1 tech fall in the first round of the championship bracket.

Fix earned a quick takedown in the opening minute of the third period and proceeded to log over two minutes of riding time. After a Fix escape and takedown in the second period, Dunham picked up a point by way of an escape with about a minute left in the second stanza.

Fix achieved one more takedown in the second period and would later earn a takedown and four back points in the third period for the match’s final tech fall score of 17-1 for Fix.

No. 17 Braxton Brown (Maryland) tech falls Dunham (VMI), 15-0

Dunham’s tournament run came to an end Thursday night when he was defeated by Maryland’s Brown by a 15-0 tech fall in the third period of the consolation bracket first round.

Brown picked up a takedown in the first period before Dunham was assessed two stalling warnings to give Brown an additional point to enter the second period up 4-0.

Brown earned an escape to begin the second period and turned around for another takedown to move up 8-0. He nearly pinned Dunham as the period was winding down to earn four back points for a 12-0 lead with one period left.

Dunham’s tournament run was completed as Brown earned one more takedown to end the match with a 15-0 tech fall victory.

Jim Gibson, VMI Head Coach

“Dyson has a lot to be proud of. He gained valuable experience at the NCAA Championships and was able to secure a win over a Big 10 opponent. He will be able to carry this confidence into next season and has expectations to be back at the NCAA tournament in the future.”

Editor’s Note: This article was first published at