COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kyle Snyder of the Ohio State wrestling team and Francesca Di Lorenzo of the women’s tennis team were named the 2016-17 Ohio State Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively. The duo will be placed of the ballots for the Big Ten Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards.
For a complete list of Ohio State Male and Female Athletes of the Year, click here.
Snyder, a junior from Woodbine, Md., capped off a perfect 2016-17 season by defeating second-seeded Connor Medbery of Wisconsin, 6-3, in the 285 lb. final at the NCAA Championships. Also a Big Ten champion, Snyder helped the Scarlet and Gray win their second conference team title in the last three years. At 17-0 on the year, Snyder won 13 of his matches via bonus points and averaged over seven takedowns and 15 points/match. His schedule with the Buckeyes was abbreviated, as he also competed oversees for Team USA at the World Wrestling Clubs Cup in Ukraine the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia and Freestyle World Cup in Iran. The Yarygin is considered to be the most difficult open tournament in the world and Snyder became the first American male to win gold at the event since 2009.
Over of career, Snyder is 58-4 with two national titles, two Big Ten titles and three All-America honors. He’s won 28 consecutive collegiate matches. Last August while wrestling for Team USA, he became the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in United States history and the first active Ohio State student-athlete to win an Olympic gold medal since Jerry Lucas (basketball) in 1960. He’s also the first American wrestlers to win a gold medal and return to college to win a NCAA championship.
Snyder was also a finalist for two major national awards: the AAU James E. Sullivan Award, given annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete, and Dan Hodge Trophy, considered the Heisman of collegiate wrestling.
Wrestlers have now won the Male Athlete of the Year Award for four straight years. Snyder joins Logan Stieber (2014, 2015) as a two-time winner. Current assistant coach J Jaggers also earned the honor in 2009.
Di Lorenzo, a sophomore from New Albany, Ohio and the first tennis player in school history to be named Ohio State’s Female Athlete of the Year, won the 2017 NCAA Doubles Championship with Miho Kowase, the first NCAA title in program history. The No. 1-ranked singles player all spring after winning two ITA singles titles in the fall, she was an All-American in singles and doubles, as well as an Academic All-American. She is the first two-time singles All-American in program history and the second to win both singles and doubles All-America accolades (the first since 2001). Di Lorenzo was the Big Ten Player of the Year and a First Team All-Big Ten selection for the second straight year after going 10-0 at No. 1 singles in conference matches as the Buckeyes won the regular season and conference titles for the second straight year.
A Honda Sport Award finalist, Di Lorenzo was the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship. She was 37-2 overall in 2016-17, with a 27-1 mark in dual play and an 18-2 ledger vs. ranked foes. Her 37 wins tied her program record for single-season victories, first set a season ago. She was 23-3 in doubles, with all 26 matches in the spring, and ended the season ranked third in doubles with Kowase. In the fall, Di Lorenzo won both the Riviera ITA All-American title and defended her ITA National Indoor crown, giving her the first three ITA national titles in program history. The Buckeyes, who ended the year 32-3 to set the school record for wins in a season, reached the NCAA semifinals, the program’s first appearance in the Final Four, where they were clipped by defending champion Stanford, 4-3.