“I had been wrestling for a really long time, and I hadn’t given myself time to rest. I hadn’t given myself time to just kind of sit back, relax and take a chill pill. Now I’ve had that, and I’ve been wrestling at an outstanding pace, at an outstanding level against everybody and anyone who comes in my way.” — J’den Cox

of American, and major decisions over Steban Cervantes of Navy and Ryan Wolfe of Rider. In WKH VHPLÀ QDOV &R[ ZDV LQ FRQWURO RQ WKH ZD\ WR a 6-2 decision over No. 4 seed Jared Haught of 9LUJLQLD 7HFK $IWHU KLV ZLQ LQ WKH VHPLÀ QDOV KH ZDV PRUH À UHG XS ZLWK WKH SHUIRUPDQFH RI KLV teammates than himself, as Mizzou put three ZUHVWOHUV LQ WKH 1&$$ À QDOV IRU WKH À UVW WLPH as Lavion Mayes (149) and Joey Lavallee (157) DOVR ZRQ WKHLU VHPLÀ QDO PDWFKHV “We believed we could do whatever we

put our minds to, and I think if you guys had been watching Mizzou this whole tournament you’d see these guys have come to scrap. Guys came out to wrestle hard this tournament, ev- ery one of my teammates. And I imagine them being able to do as well as we wanted to, and ZH·UH GRLQJ LW DQG ZH·UH NHHSLQJ WKDW Á DPH DQG WKDW À UH JRLQJ µ &R[ VDLG Snyder ran into an unexpected challenge

as he powered through the heavyweight brack- HW +H ZRQ KLV À UVW WZR PDWFKHV E\ WHFKQLFDO fall over Jake Gunning of Buffalo and Garrett Ryan of Columbia, who was his roommate at the U.S. Olympic Training Center during his se- nior year in high school. In the quarters, when he beat Michael Krolls of Minnesota, 13-7, ev-

erybody noticed Snyder was holding his side and wincing in pain with an apparent rib injury. ,Q KLV VHPLÀ QDO PDWFK DJDLQVW 1R -DFRE

Kasper of Duke, Snyder ended up with a 19-6 major decision, but was clearly not himself.


day against Garrett Ryan,” Snyder said. “He was like wrapped on a body lock, and I kind of ex- tended, and his grip went from the top of my rib to the bottom of my rib, and they just think the cartilage pulled off from the bone. So it’s kind of a little separated on the top part. But yeah, and then in the third match against Kroells when he was on top, it was just hurting really bad. I didn’t really feel it on my feet, but then it hurt to breathe, and got a little worse than it was before that.” The NCAA decided to put the 184-pound


Kyle Snyder (right) defeated freestyle training partner Connor Medbery

of Wisconsin for his second NCAA title.

À QDOV EHWZHHQ WZR WLPH 1&$$ FKDPSL on Gabe Dean of Cornell and the explosive Penn State star Bo Nickal as the last match of the championship session. That meant WKDW &R[ DQG 6Q\GHU ZRXOG ZUHVWOH LQ WKH À UVW two bouts of the night on ESPN primetime. America would see its Olympic heroes right off the bat, one after the other. &R[ ZDV VKDUS LQ WKH À QDOV FOHDUO\ HQMR\ ing his last college wrestling match against No. 2-seed Brett Pfarr of Minnesota. He was able to score a takedown in each period on the way to an 8-2 win, responding with joy to

See page 14: COX & SNYDER


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