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Snyder beats Cox in two straight @RudisPlus Super Match; 14 other great matches on the card in Detroit

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

VIDEO: Kyle Snyder interview after @RudisPlus Super Match win

PHOTO: Kyle Snyder lifts J'den Cox's leg during their @RudisPlus Super Match. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

DETROIT, Mich. – 2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder won two matches to sweep his best-of-three series against 2016 Olympic medalist and two-time World champion J’den Cox at 97 kg, the Main Event of @RudisPlus Super Match in the Sound Board at the Motor City Casino Hotel, Wednesday night.

Snyder won a 5-5 criteria decision over Cox in bout one, then came back in a strong 7-1 victory in the second match to secure the victory.

Bout one – Snyder dec. Cox, 5-5

In the first period, Snyder was put on the shot clock. Cox secured a single leg for a step out to make it 1-0, then got the point when Snyder didn’t score in 30 seconds to make it 2-0 going into the break.

In the second period, Snyder forced a step out to make it 2-1. However, officials determined that Cox did not defend, and was hit with a caution to make it 2-2. Snyder got a step out point, but Cox forced one immediately to make it 3-3. Cox scored a counter takedown after a Snyder leg shot to take a 5-3 lead with 1:50 left. Snyder took down Cox after getting a bodylock for a four-point score and a 7-5 lead. Cox won a challenge making it a two-point move to make it 5-5. Cox was unable to score late, and Snyder won by scoring last.

Bout Two – Snyder dec. Cox, 7-1

Snyder made a double leg shot to a step out to lead 1-0. After a Cox attack, Snyder countered for a takedown and a 3-0 lead going into the break.

In the second period, Snyder added a step out point to lead 4-0. Another Snyder single leg led to a step out and a 5-0 lead. Cox got on the board with a step out with about one minute left to make it 5-1. A late Snyder takedown secured the 7-1 victory

Fans have been looking forward to this battle for a long time. During the 2017-20 Olympic cycle, Cox wrestled at 86 kg then 92 kg, while Snyder was up at 97 kg. These two were on a collision course to wrestle at 97 kg for the 2020 Olympic year, but then the pandemic hit, and then the match didn’t happen at the delayed Olympic Trials in 2021. Cox was back at 92 kg for the 2021 Worlds.

The 16-match card was a wonderful way to launch the annual NCAA Wrestling Championships weekend, which start on Thursday here in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena.

2020 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt scored a quick 10-0 technical fall over Ronna Gross at 53 kg. Hildebrandt scored a takedown, secured a leg lace, and turned Gross four consecutive times for the win in just 59 seconds.

Two-time World medalist James Green shut out two-time World Team member Zain Retherford, 4-0 at 70 kg. In the first period, Green put on the shot clock and responded with a takedown for a 2-0 lead. In the second period, Green forced a step out point for a 3-0 lead. With Retherford forcing the action, Green circled on the edge to get a step out for a 4-0 margin

At 70 kg, Alec Pantaleo scored the only takedowns in a 4-1 win over 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion Jordan Oliver. Pantaleo secured a single leg to a finish to lead 2-0 at the break. In the second period, Pantaleo was put on the shot clock and did not score, making it 2-1. With Oliver pushing the action late, Pantaleo hit a double leg takedown for the 4-1 win.

In a match at 86 kg where points were only scored on the shot clock, two-time Junior World champion Mark Hall defeated Myles Martin, 2-1. Hall was put on the shot clock and didn’t score, making it 1-0 for Martin at the break. In the second period, Martin was on the shot clock and didn’t score, knotting it at 1-1. While both wrestlers took shots, neither could score. Martin was put on the shot clock late in the bout and did not score, giving Hall the 2-1 win.

2021 World silver medalist and 2020 Olympian Kayla Miracle defeated Emma Bruntil, 8-2 at 62 kg.

Miracle scored three first-period takedowns, on two spin behinds and a double leg attack. for a 6-0 lead at the break. She stretched it to 8-0 with a second period go behind. For her only points, Bruntil hit an ankle pick, to a spin behind takedown to make it to 8-2.

At 79 kg, Alex Dieringer won a hard fought 4-1 decision over Isaiah Martinez. In the first period, Martinez took a 1-0 lead when Dieringer was put on the shot clock and did not score in 30 seconds. In the second period, Dieringer got behind Martinez for a takedown on the edge. Martinez challenged but it was denied, making it 3-1 for Dieringer. Martinez stepped out after an attack, making it 4-1 for Dieringer.

In a hard-fought tight battle, 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials runner-up Kollin Moore won a 4-4 criteria over U.S. Open champion Nate Jackson at 97 kg. Moore was placed on the shot clock, but Jackson scored a takedown then got the point for Moore not scoring in 30 seconds for a 3-0 lead. However, right before the first period ended, Moore scored a counter takedown and hit a gut wrench for a 4-3 lead. The only point scored in the second period happened with 18 points left when Jackson forced step out to tie it at 4-4. Moore won criteria with two two-point moves.

Junior World champion and U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up Kennedy Blades showed off her explosive offense in an 11-1 technical fall over two-time World Team member Victoria Francis at 72 kg in women’s freestyle. Blades had two takedowns to one Francis step out to lead 4-1 at the break. In the second period, Blades scored on a slide by for two, then nailed two four-point takedowns to close out the technical fall.

Canadian Olympian Amar Dhesi physically controlled the bout, scoring on only step outs and cautions on the way to a 12-7 victory over Derek White at 125 kg. In the first period, Dhesi scored points on four different step outs, but White came back with one four-point chest lock to tie it up. Dhesi challenged the four-point call and lost, making it 5-4 for White at the break. The second period was all Dhesi, with step outs and cautions pushing his lead. A late White counter takedown made it a bit closer.

It was a wild match at 65 kg as Evan Henderson and Seth Gross put up 24 points in six minutes. Henderson struck first with exposure in a funky scramble but Gross responded with two sets of exposure of his own. Eventually, Gross led 6-5 at the break. In the second half of action, the two went back and forth, exchanging multiple takedowns and exposure, including back-to-back takedowns from Henderson. He was awarded a third, but the call was challenged and failed. In the final seconds of the match, Henderson, who trailed by two, picked up exposure twice in a scramble and Gross reacted with a reversal, but it was Henderson, who walked away with a 13-11 decision.

In the first women’s bout of the card, veteran star Erin Golston scored a 2-2 criteria decision over 2021 Junior World champion and U23 World champion Emily Shilson at 50 kg. Golston scored a takedown in the first period, but Shilson cut the lead in half with a stepout with Golston leading 2-1 at the break. In the second period, Shilson scored another step out to tie it at 2-2. Shilson had some late attacks but not able to finish, and Golston won the criteria with a two-point score.

In an All-ACC battle, Virginia Tech grad David McFadden and Duke grad Mitch Finesilver, who now competes for Israel battled at 79 kg. Finesilver got on the board first to lead 1-0, but a powerful four-point double leg takedown for McFadden made it 4-1 at the break. In the second period, McFadden took a counter shot for a takedown to extend his lead, and Finesilver could only force a step out late in the period, ending it at 6-2 for McFadden.

The second bout was a high school freestyle battle with Caleb Henson of Georgia edged Hunter Garvin of Iowa, 8-6. The first period went back and forth, with both athletes getting takedowns, and Henson leading 5-4. In the second period, Henson added a takedown and forced a step-out to make it 8-4. Garvin scored two on a crotch lift late in the bout but could not close the gap.

Casey Swiderski of Michigan opened up the match with a big win in folkstyle over Jesse Mendez of Indiana, 10-4. Swiderski opened with a quick ankle pick takedown right off the whistle and never trailed. Swiderski had two first period takedowns to lead 4-1. Mendez got a second period escape to make it 4-2. In the third period, Swiderski added two takedowns and had riding time to end with a six-point lead. Coming in, Ohio State commit Mendez was No. 2 in the FloWrestling Pound-For-Pound rankings, while Swiderski an Iowa State signee was at No. 17.


At Detroit, Michigan, March 16

Main Event (best of three-series)

97 kg – Kyle Snyder dec. J’den Cox, two matches to none

Match 1– Kyle Snyder dec. J’den Cox, 5-5

Match 2 - Kyle Snyder dec. J’den Cox, 7-1

Other matches on the card (in order of appearance)

Match 1: 145 lbs. HS Folkstyle –Casey Swiderski dec. Jesse Mendez, 10-4

Match 2: 153 lbs. HS Freestyle – Caleb Henson dec. Hunter Garvin, 8-6

Match 3: 79 kg – David McFadden dec. Mitch Finesilver, 6-2

Match 4: 50 kg – Erin Golston dec. Emily Shilson, 2-2

Match 5: 65 kg – Evan Henderson dec. Seth Gross, 13-11

Match 6: 125 kg –Amar Dhesi dec. Derek White, 12-7

Match 7: 72 kg – Kennedy Blades tech. fall Victoria Francis, 11-1

Match 8: 97 kg – Kollin Moore dec. Nate Jackson, 4-4

Match 10: 79 kg – Alex Dieringer dec. Isaiah Martinez, 4-1

Match 11: 62 kg – Kayla Miracle dec. Emma Bruntil, 8-2

Match 12: 86 kg – Mark Hall dec. Myles Martin, 2-1

Match 13: 70 kg – Alec Pantaleo dec. Jordan Oliver, 4-1

Match 14: 70 kg – James Green dec. Zain Retherford, 4-0

Match 15: 53 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt tech. fall Ronna Gross, 10-0