The same four words reverberated around the Schottenstein Center over and over during the final match of Sunday’s wrestling meet between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 3 Iowa.
“Snyder takedown. Holloway escape.”
Heavyweight Kyle Snyder toyed with his opponent, Steven Holloway. He took the Hawkeye down, then allowed him to get to his feet, only to take him down again with ease.
Holloway wrestled because Iowa held undefeated No. 3 junior Sam Stoll out against Snyder.
“[Stoll] has struggled a little bit with health and I think if anyone can put you in some positions that’s not that good for your health, it’s Kyle,” Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said.
Ryan, Myles Martin and Bo Jordan laughed when Snyder said he did not care whether Stoll decided to sit out. They, like everyone else, knew what the result would have been had Stoll wrestled.
Sunday’s result, which ended as a 24-9 technical fall win for Snyder, was never in doubt. Instead, the spectacle of Snyder performing one last time at home attracted a season-high crowd of 15,117 fans.
If someone in the arena closed their eyes and listened to the public address announcer continually repeat those statements — “Snyder takedown. Holloway escape” — it would be hard to believe Snyder’s superiority against the overmatched opponent.
But nothing abnormal happened in Sunday’s match. Ohio State has never seen a wrestler like Snyder, who has four pins and two technical falls this season. Sunday was the celebration of an all-time great.
“Obviously, he’s got a bunch more competitions for Ohio State, but I think today I just tried to really just enjoy the day,” Ryan said following his team’s 22-12 win against Iowa. “I think you put so much time and energy and work into this and sometimes you can just get lost in the stress of it and the results of it.”
After the final home match ended, Snyder took a photo with his coaches and fellow seniors Bo Jordan and Nathan Tomasello, who hope to join him in becoming the first trio of teammates to be named four-time All-Americans in college wrestling history. Then, Snyder walked toward the Scarlet and Gray-clad fans packing the stands and screaming his name. People mobbed Snyder as he took pictures and signed autographs for 10 minutes before heading back to take a shower.
Everyone wanted a piece of history to remember watching Sunday’s match, which acted as a microcosm of his dominant college career.
The three-time All-American has won back-to-back NCAA championships, two Big Ten championships and has not lost a college match since March 21, 2015. He is the top-ranked wrestler, pound-for-pound, in college, according to FloWrestling. Those, of course, are only his collegiate accolades.
Snyder also became the youngest Olympic champion in U.S. wrestling history and the youngest world champion in the country’s history, achieving both feats while in college.
Snyder’s laurels have catapulted him into the legendary territory reserved for historically skilled Buckeyes, including Jesse Owens, Eddie George, Jerry Lucas and a select few others. And like them, college is just a stepping stone to further greatness.
“I’m thankful for everything, but I’m also very excited about the future and competing in other matches and other tournaments,” Snyder said. “My career is not even close to being over, God willing.”
For that reason, Snyder said he felt no different emotions, even knowing he would never again compete for Ohio State in Columbus. His collegiate accomplishments merely sit at the beginning of a list of accomplishments that will continue to grow.
Instead of overworking Ohio State’s public address announcer with his constant takedowns, Snyder will attempt to overwhelm opponents en route to a third NCAA championship in March and in international competition for the foreseeable future.