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Iowa History Daily: March 10 - Chris Taylor & Cyclones Claim Title

Iowa History Daily: On March 10, 1973, the Iowa State Cyclones captured the NCAA National Championship with Heavyweight Chris Taylor leading the way. Taylor, a larger than life Cyclone, went undefeated in two seasons at Iowa State.

Taylor, who wrestled for Dowagiac High School in Michigan, arrived in Ames at a hefty 415-pounds. In an era before collegiate wrestling capped the heavyweight division at 275-pounds, Taylor dominated. "I think he might have been the greatest athlete for his size who ever lived," said his former Cyclone coach, Harold Nichols.

During his time at Iowa State, Taylor captured two Big Eight Conference titles and two NCAA titles without surrendering a single point. Taylor lost a 1972 Olympic match to eight-time world champion Aleksandr Medved of the Soviet Union, 3-2, on a controversial stalling call which eventually led to the referees dismissal from the tournament and a ban from international officiating. 

Joining the American Wrestling Association in 1973, Taylor spent several years in professional wrestling where he notably once beat Ric Flair. In 1979, Taylor died of cardiovascular complications at his home in Story City, Iowa, at the age of 29, two years after health problems caused him to retire from professional wrestling. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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