Expand the trophy case, Snyder wins back to back national championships
ST. LOUIS, MO -- Kyle Snyder added another line to his already unprecedented resume of Saturday night as he repeated as the 285 lb. national champion, helping Ohio State finish second overall with 110 points at the 2017 NCAA Championships.
In a year of firsts, Snyder added another one to his resume: the first Olympic gold medalist to return to school and win an NCAA championship. His win over Connor Medbery of Wisconsin in the 285 lb. final put him on an elite list as the fifth two-time champion in school history. His teammate, Bo Jordan, wasn't quite as fortunate, dropping a 5-2 decision at 174 lbs. to Penn State's Mark Hall.
The Buckeyes had a school record six All-Americans at this year's championships - Snyder (first, 285), Jordan (second, 174), Nathan Tomasello (third, 133), Kollin Moore (third, 197), Micah Jordan (fourth, 149) and Myles Martin (fifth, 184).
"Every year, we want Buckeye Nation to look at our team and say `they have a chance to win it all,'" said head coach Tom Ryan. "This team confirms those expectations."
Ohio State's second-place showing is its third in the last 11 years and the fifth time it's finished inside of the top three in that time span.
Snyder and Medbery, the nation's top-ranked heavyweights for the entirety of the 2016-17 season, met for the second time in two weeks - this time with the NCAA biggest prize at stake. Snyder scored the matches first two points when he lifted Medbery, who outweighs Snyder by approximately 40 points, and finished on a takedown. Snyder was awarded an additional point on a Medbery penalty near the end of the period.
In the second period, Snyder finished off his second takedown of the match to extend his lead, and after the Medbery escape he was ahead 5-1. That cushion proved to be more than enough in a 6-3 decision that capped off a seven-month period that saw him win an Olympic gold medal and then return to Ohio State to win both Big Ten and NCAA titles. He also helped the Buckeyes claim their second conference championship in the last three years.
"I'm just happy I could wrestle well and represent Ohio State well," said Snyder. "I'm excited about the future of improvement, just becoming a better wrestler, but that was a pretty awesome environment. Very grateful that I could compete in front of all those people."
On looking ahead to next year
"[NCAAs] are going to be in Cleveland. So no better place to bring one to Ohio State. Our lineup is going to be really good next year. Penn State's lineup is going to be really good next year as well. I kind of see us and them battling again and I guess the better wrestling team will win with the better wrestlers on that day.
We're not losing anybody. We're bringing a couple guys in. We have Ke-Shawn coming back. We have Luke and Nate coming back. Luke was originally a 133-pounder. We have Luke and Nate coming back, myself, Bo, Micah, a couple of new guys coming in. So we're going to be a strong team. Myles obviously, Kollin. We're going to be a really strong team."
In the 174 lb. final, Penn State freshman Mark Hall scored three second-period points in an escape and takedown. In the third, Jordan escaped early to cut the deficit to 3-1, but couldn't finish on several shots to Hall's legs and was eventually taken down in the closing seconds for the 5-2 final. It ended another stellar season for the redshirt junior, who finished 18-2 and was a Big Ten champion for the first time in his career.
2017 NCAA Championships | Scottrade Center | St. Louis, Mo. | Attendance: 19,657
Session Vi Results
FINAL TEAM SCORES (Top 10)
1. Penn State - 146.5
2. Ohio State - 110.0
3. Oklahoma State - 103.0
4. Iowa - 97.0
5. Missouri - 86.5