Myles Amine emerged from the tunnel and was met with a reception fit for the final bout at the NCAA Championships. The redshirt junior trotted out to the mat elevated by the cheers of the raucous crowd and the spirit of the event. Flames shot into the air on either side of him. He came prepared and ready to dominate.

And on Friday at the NWCA All-Star Classic, that’s exactly what he did.

Facing off against a fellow All-American, Amine cruised to an 11-2, major-decision victory over the 10th-ranked Jacobe Smith of Oklahoma State.

Due to the high ranking of both wrestlers and the 1,000-plus people eagerly watching match after match, the non-scoring invitational felt like it was for all the marbles. And with his dominant performance, Amine showed his game is already nearing postseason form.

Despite not having previously wrestled Smith, Amine stayed true to character and used a vicious offensive onslaught to keep his opponent on his heels and continue to tack points on the scoreboard. In the victory, Amine mixed his unparalleled conditioning with unique attack angles to confound Smith and earn the major decision.

From last season to the early moments of this one, Amine’s matches have become almost formulaic. The opponent manages to keep the match close, even scoreless, through one period. But then fatigue kicks in, and Amine strikes. On Friday, the same routine was on full display. After making it through one scoreless period, Amine blew things open in the second, starting with a low leg attack to get his first takedown.

“I pride myself on being really offensive, so always on the attack, and somewhat of a grinder,” Amine said. “I think usually I saw myself in a lot of tight matches early in the first period or even early in the second period, but really finding a way separating myself going into the second or third period. Guys start to get tired, I think. That’s when I can really start to take advantage of blowing open a match.”

Now with a quality win under his belt to start the season, Amine knows how high the bar has been set. In response, his goal remains the same — a national championship. Finishing third in last year’s tournament, Amine knows there’s still some work to be done to attain the top spot in the nation and conquer college wrestling’s field of 174-pounders.

“My goal is to win a national championship, and change the third ranking to that number one ranking and prove a lot of people wrong,” Amine said. “There are two guys above me that there’s a lot of hype around, and I lost two really close matches to both of those guys, so there’s a fuel to the fire to be added, and I’ve really been training a lot to get to the top of that podium.”

Beyond the added pressure to sit atop the podium, Amine now must face his new role as a bona fide leader of the wrestling squad. After the departure of former team captains Domenic Abounader and Adam Coon, Amine is one of the upperclassmen that his teammates will look to for guidance and poise.

And if his performance on Friday is any indication, Amine’s method of leading by example will go just fine this season.

“I think if anything, it’s only made the sport of wrestling for me that much better,” Amine said. “As much as it is a team sport, you’re out there by yourself, so it’s pretty individual. So when you try to assume a leadership role like becoming a captain, you need to focus on helping out other guys, and I like to think I’ve done that as much as I can. Being able to see people’s progress through your help is probably just as rewarding as seeing your own progress.”

This is coming from a guy who has seen plenty of his own progress through his college career. Now he is ready to see the fruits of his labor and has officially put college wrestling on notice.

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