Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Team USA) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week.
Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level.
Snyder captured a gold medal at the FILA Junior World Championships on Saturday in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Snyder, 17, who still has a year of high school remaining, won the freestyle title at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. in the 17-20 age group.
Snyder won a wild gold-medal final over Viktor Kazishvili of Armenia, falling behind early and almost getting pinned, but battling back for an impressive 11-4 technical fall in 4:04.
Kazishvili, who was third in the 2013 European Junior Championships, went upper body with Snyder and threw him to his back, almost getting the fall, but the tough American got free, but was trailing 4-1. He started a barrage of takedowns, as well as a turn, to take an 8-4 lead at the break. In the second period, a two-point takedown and a one-point pushout put him at 11-4 for the technical fall victory.
Snyder continued his impressive composure in the semifinals with an 8-0 second period technical fall over Robin Ferdinand of Germany in 3:42. Snyder scored four two-point takedowns for the victory, while maintaining a strong defense which has served him well all day. Ferdinand was fifth in the 2012 Junior World Championships.
In the morning session, Snyder opened with a 9-2 technical fall over Radu Balaur of Moldova in 2:20. In the quarterfinals, he controlled Yusup Malachmagomedov of Russia in a 3-1 victory.
Snyder plans to spend his senior year at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to Craig Sesker at firstname.lastname@example.org