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N.Y. wrestler wins national title with incredible ‘Flying Squirrel’ move

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In honor of the National Spelling Bee, and its impending format changes, let's start this story this way:

Flying squirrel; n: 1) a woodlands rodent that leaps between trees at a distance that makes it appear to fly; 2) U.S. Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas; 3) U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler Ellis Coleman; 4) The incredible, awe-inspiring wrestling move you see above.

That flip turn, ladies and gentlemen, is one fantastic 'Flying Squirrel'. Even more incredibly, it came in the most dramatic circumstances possible: During the final 10 seconds of a national championship match, with the successful wrestler -- Cheektowaga (N.Y.) High star Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer -- needing the points he scored with the move to escape with a national title.

As reported by the Buffalo News, Rodriguez-Spencer was in the third period of a junior 138-pound class bout against a Maryland wrestler named Alfred Bannister and was trailing by a score of 4-3. He needed two points to earn a victory which would land him a National Junior Class title in his weight class, and he was running out of time.

Finally, as the timekeeper called out the 10-second warning, Rodriguez-Spencer was forced into action. He launched into the forward-flipping move, executed it to perfection and left Bannister completely stunned by the sudden turn of events.

As one might expect, the plaudits for Rodriguez-Spencer's bravery for even trying the move and his execution of it came in fast and furious, and he was eventually honored as the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the junior meet at the National High School Coaches Association wrestling championships.

Given that move, it's no wonder.

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