Kyle Snyder earns title at International Junior Champions Tournament in Turkey

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | May 17, 2014, 3:29 p.m. (ET)

IZMIR, Turkey – American Kyle Snyder earned a gold medal at the International Junior Champions Tournament on Saturday.

Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Sunkist Kids/USOTC) defeated Zaynulla Kurbanov from Russia 1-1 in the freestyle finals at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Snyder won a Junior World title in 2013. 

Both wrestlers scored passivity points after their opponents were put on the shot clock. Snyder won by virtue of scoring last.

Snyder recorded two technical falls and a fall en route to the finals.

2013 FILA Cadet World champion Aaron Pico (Whittier, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) went 2-2 in the event at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Pico won his first two matches before dropping a 9-8 decision to Yavuz of Turkey. He then lost by fall by Russian Junior National champion Arsanaliev in the repechage.

Resident athlete A.J. Rees (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOTC) went 0-1 at 55 kg /121 lbs.

"Our first day of competition was full of great competitors and learning opportunities," U.S. Assistant Coach Bill Zadick said. "Kyle wrestled very well in all four of his matches on his way to the title. Kyle dispatched his opponents with two technical falls, a pin, a decision, and by a combined score of 34-2. He did a great job and should feel good about his direction and winning the gold."

"Aaron started out very well, scoring a lot of points, with a couple tech falls. Later, he dropped two matches emphasizing a couple areas he needs to really work in and master. Aaron's a great competitor and because he is so competitive he's disappointed, however likewise will do the work he needs to in order to turn this into a positive learning moment in his career. Aaron's love, goals and commitment are the hallmarks of  budding career and the sky is the limit for his potential success.

"A.J. wrestled a great match, outscoring his opponent 10-2 before we got stepped over on a gut wrench and caught."

The rest of the U.S. team is scheduled to compete Sunday. That group includes Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas /Best Trained Wrestling) at 84 kg/185 lbs., Joey McKenna (Towaco, N.J./LVAC) at 60 kg/132 lbs., Garrett Ryan (Scottsdale, Ariz./Sunkist Kids/USOTC) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., Fox Baldwin (Kissimmee, Fla./USOTC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Glenn Climmons (Hiram, Ga./USOTC) at 84 kg/185 lbs.

International Junior Champions Tournament

At Izmir, Turkey, May 17

55 kg/121 lbs. -A.J. Ree, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USOTC)

LOSS Calisir TUR pin

66 kg - Aaron Pico, Whittier, Calif. (Ttian Mercury WC)

WIN Oguzham TUR tech 12-1

WIN Asselderov KAZ tech 10-0

LOSS Yavuz TUR dec 8-9

LOSS Arsanaliev RUS fall

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Sunkist Kids/USOTC) - Gold Medal

WIN Ungor TUR tech 13-0

WIN Heino FIN tech 11-1

WIN Savran TUR pin 9-0, 2:22

WIN Kurbanov dec 1-1