|Kyle Snyder celebrates winning the men's freestyle 97 kg. gold-medal match at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships on Sept. 11, 2015 in Las Vegas.|
After dominant seasons resulting in three combined world championship medals, Adeline Gray, Kyle Snyder and Andy Bisek have been named USA Wrestling’s 2015 Wrestlers of the Year. This is Gray and Bisek’s second consecutive year taking home this award, while Snyder is being honored for the first time.
Snyder wins the award for the first time in the men’s freestyle category after his breakout 2015 season. At the 2015 World Wrestling Championships in September, Snyder became the youngest American ever to win a wrestling world title when he took gold in the 97 kg. weight class at age 19. His first tournament victory came against past world championship medalist Pablo Oliinyk of Ukraine; four matches later, in the final, he scored a late takedown to beat 2014 world champion Abdusalam Gadisov of Russia. To make the world team, he had to defeat 2012 Olympic champion and 2011 world bronze medalist Jake Varner. He did so at the 2015 U.S. Open in May, and again in two straight matches in the championship series of the U.S. World Team Trials in June.
In July, Snyder earned gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games with three technical fall victories, including a dominant 10-0 win in the final. He also won his match at the Beat the Streets Salsa in the Square in May over world bronze medalist Javier Cortina of Cuba, and added a gold medal at the Brazil Cup in December. A freshman at Ohio State, Snyder placed second at the 2015 NCAA Championships at 197 pounds and led the Buckeyes to their first-ever NCAA Division I team championship.
|Andy Bisek celebrates winning the Greco-Roman 75 kg. gold medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games on July 15, 2015 in Toronto.|
Not only was 2015 Gray’s second year being named Wrestler of the Year, but it was also her second consecutive year winning a world title; she dominated in each of her four matches, outscoring her opponents 49-4 on her way to 75 kg. gold. Her third world title overall, she now ranks second all-time in U.S. women’s wrestling history behind only Tricia Saunders’ four. She also ranks second overall in total world medals with five.
Gray dominated just about every event in which she competed in 2015, running her undefeated streak to 32 straight bouts dating back to July 2014. Three straight wins in July at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games earned her the gold medal, and four straight in March won her the gold medal at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She won the 2015 Cerro Pelado International in Cuba in February and went 7-0 in the new India Professional Wrestling League. Domestically, Gray won World Team Trials as well as the U.S. Open.
Like Gray, Bisek is taking home this award for the second straight year in the Greco-Roman category on the heels of his second world championship medal. He earned bronze at 75 kg. at the World Wrestling Championships – his second consecutive world bronze medal – advancing through repechage after a defeat and beating two former world champions to do so. At the Pan American Games, he won three straight matches to earn gold. He added a pair of international gold medals to his record as well, winning the Granma Cup and the Dave Schultz Memorial International. He also won his matches at the Jack Pinto Cup and the Beat the Streets Salsa in the Square event.
Bisek’s stellar season rounded out with domination in the two major domestic events: he won both the U.S. Open and the World Team Trials by margins of 11-0 and 8-0, respectively.