There was a time Friday night after his quarterfinal match against Minnesota’s Michael Kroells where there was a question as to whether Kyle Snyder would even be able to continue wrestling. The Buckeye junior sustained a rib injury that left him in obvious pain. Head coach Tom Ryan came to Snyder and told him that if he wanted to default out of the tournament to protect himself for the upcoming US Open tournament that he would understand. Snyder was having none of it, though. He decided to wrestle and nearly tech-falled his semifinal opponent.
The win earned Snyder a finals matchup with Wisconsin’s Connor Medberry. Snyder had previously defeated Medberry during the Big Ten finals in a closely contested match. With Snyder at less than 100 percent against an opponent that outweighed him by nearly 40 pounds, a repeat victory was no sure thing. As it turned out, it was another close battle. Snyder started things off with an absolutely massive high crotch takedown of the larger Medberry that brought the crowd to its feet. Snyder would go on to win the match 6-3 earning is second consecutive NCAA Heavyweight crown.
The win caps an impressive 12 months that saw Snyder win an Olympic championship, a national championship, a Big Ten championship and countless victories around the world. Not bad for a guy who just recently became old enough to buy beer.
There had been some speculation as to whether or not Snyder would return to Ohio State for his senior season, but he put an end to that telling the Dispatch’s Bill Rabinowitz that he will be back. That’s great for the Buckeyes and bad news for the rest of the heavyweight division.
Next up for Snyder will be the US Open where he will be the heavy favorite.