In his first taste of international competition, former two-time All-Met Wrestler of the Year Kyle Snyder maintained the standard of performance he built in an undefeated career at Good Counsel.
Snyder won all four of his freestyle matches in the 96 kg (211.5 pounds) weight class at the FILA Junior World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday.
The 17-year old dispatched wrestlers from Russia, Moldova, Germany and Armenia to earn a gold medal for the United States in the 17-20 age group.
“When I compete against higher level competition, I tend to wrestle a little bit better,” Snyder said.
“I was thinking about this junior world title for awhile, so just going out there and accomplishing what I set out to do, it’s a great feeling.”
Snyder was only taken down once in his high school career, but he had to fight from his back to win the world championship.
After surrendering a 1-0 deficit, Armenian Viktor Kazishvili clutched Snyder’s torso with an overhook grab and spun him to the mat. Snyder narrowly avoided a pin.
He said the upper body attack was indicative of the foreign strategy.
“They just challenge you in different positions that Americans don’t usually put me in,” he said. “They also tend to wrestle a little more laid back, not as much of a high pace, which was good for me because I was able to wear most of them down and tire them out throughout the match.”
After composing himself, Snyder put together a 10-0 run to earn his third technical fall of the tournament. He stayed in Bulgaria for another day before returning to his new home stateside.
Snyder decided in April to waive his final year of high school eligibility and spend a year in residency at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
He completed moving in this week, bringing the last of his belongings to a victorious layover in Bulgaria before settling in.
In Colorado Springs, Snyder was a regular teenager again.
In order to be eligible for to wrestle for Ohio State in 2015, Snyder has to complete four classes at nearby Coronado High School. Tuesday was his first day of class.
“It wasn’t very fun, but it’s school,” he said. “You have to go.”