ST. LOUIS — After two days of wrestling, two Buckeye wrestlers remain alive in their hopes of winning an NCAA championship: junior Kyle Snyder and redshirt junior Bo Jordan.
Snyder is making his third appearance in the NCAA finals having won one previously, while Bo Jordan is making his first appearance in the match.
Both Buckeyes faced a large degree of difficulty to enter the finals. Jordan had to come from behind in the semifinals against the only opponent to hand him a loss this season – Cornell’s Brian Realbuto. Snyder is battling a rib injury, but it hasn’t seemed to slow down the reigning Olympic and world champion.
To seal his victory in the 174 semifinals, Jordan employed a move reminiscent of a somersault to counter Realbuto in the closing seconds against Realbuto to tally a takedown and near fall points, giving him an 11-7 lead that would take him to the finals.
Jordan will take on a familiar foe in the finals: Penn State’s Mark Hall. Jordan beat Hall 6-4 in overtime at the Big Ten Championships on March 5 to seal his title win.
Jordan said he still remembers the move that earned him the win, but isn’t sure exactly how he did it.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Jordan said. “I knew he was going to go mixer when I came to my feet, so i was kind of expecting it. But, for whatever reason, I just landed on top, which was nice, and I was able to get back points out of it.”
Snyder’s injury was apparent in his quarterfinals matchup against Penn State’s Michael Kroells, especially by Snyder’s lack of scoring in the third period of that match.
However, battling Duke’s Jacob Kasper in the semifinals, the injury didn’t seem to bother Snyder.
“I felt pretty good. I got shots after the 165 match,” Snyder said about his matchup with Kasper. “I felt it crunching a little bit. I could hear it. But I didn’t feel the pain because of the shots.”
Kasper had called Snyder out earlier in the season, and that seemed to be at least partially on Snyder’s mind as he won 19-6.
“I was excited to wrestle him because I heard about some of the stuff he said, seemed a little arrogant to me,” Snyder said. “And I was hoping he would back it up. But not too much.”
Snyder will also face the same foe he took on at the Big Ten Championships: Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery. Snyder beat Medbery 7-5 on March 5, but Medbery was able to get a last second takedown to make the score close.
As a team, the Buckeyes sit in second place with 89 points, behind only Penn State at 121.