Gabe Dean advanced to the finals by beating Trent Hidlay (Photo/Mark Lundy,
CORALVILLE, Iowa — Gabe Dean entered this weekend’s Senior Nationals after a three-year layoff from competition.

If he was rusty, it didn’t show.

On Saturday, Dean, a two-time NCAA champion for Cornell, reached the finals at 86 kilograms with a 2-1 victory over Trent Hidlay. The victory came only hours after he dismantled Taylor Lujan 10-0 in the quarterfinals.

“You train in the room and stuff as hard as you can,” said Dean, an assistant coach at Cornell. “But let’s just put it this way, I’m going to be really sore tomorrow. There’s a lot of really tough young, upcoming guys. I might not be the most offensive, or where I want to be yet, b