Snyder, Humphrey Claim U.S. World Team Trial Titles
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Kyle Snyder and Reece Humphrey punched their tickets to the World Championships and spots on the U.S. World Team with victories on Sunday evening at the U.S. World Team Trials in Madison, Wisc. Snyder took out 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner in the best-of-three finals at 97kg 213 while Humphrey made his third World Team by sweeping Daniel Dennis in the finals at 61 kg/134 lbs.
Snyder and Humphrey, who both train out of the Ohio Regional Training Center, make 15 World Team members from Ohio RTC since 1997, a 26 percent success rate.
Snyder, a Junior World champion, won his first match on Sunday against Varner 4-1 after breaking a 1-1 after the break with a takedown and additional points after a review. In the second match, Snyder led 1-0 at the break and then gained two additional points to secure a 3-0 shutout. It was his third win over Varner in the last month and a half, after beating him at the U.S. Open Championships final. He limited Varner to one point in 12 total minutes.
"I have amazing training partners at the Ohio RTC in J.D. Bergman and Tervel Dlagnev -- they prepare me every day for matches like this," Snyder said. "The match I lost [in the NCAA finals] hurt a lot, but I consider myself a hard worker and I stuck with the process. I love the sport and I had a lot of support in getting to this point. I moved to Ohio because I knew I could get a great education and win titles with myself at Ohio State while also preparing for my post-college at the Olympic level."
Humphrey had no trouble with Daniel Dennis in the 61 kg/134 lbs. finals, easily defeating him 12-1 by technical fall in the first match and then completing the sweep with a 4-1 decision in the second match.
"I've learned a lot from my experiences at Worlds," Humphrey said. "I decided to drop back down a weight and I felt real good out there. I'm ready for another opportunity at the Worlds."
Four-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber, coming off a fourth-place showing the U.S. Open Championships last month, advanced to the finals of the 65 kg/143 lbs. Challenge Tournament before dropping a 8-5 decision to Jordan Oliver. Stieber had previously beaten Oliver, from Oklahoma State, 4-3, in the 2012 NCAA finals at 133 lbs., the first of his four titles. Two early takedowns by Oliver gave him a 4-0 lead in the first period, but Stieber fought back with a front headlock and pushout to draw within one, 4-3, in the second. That, however, was as close as Stieber would get. In the true third place match on Sunday night, Stieber dropped an 11-6 decision to Jimmy Kennedy.
Stieber opened competition on Sunday with a tight 6-4 win over Jason Chamberlin, the 2013 NCAA runner up and 2015 Pan American champion at 65kg/143 lbs. From there, Stieber rolled to a 12-4 decision over two-time NCAA champion Kellen Russell from Michigan, setting up his match with Oliver.
Like Stieber, Bergman advanced the finals of the Challenge Tournament at 97kg 213 lbs. and he dropped a heartbreaking decision to 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner on criteria. Bergman had previously won U.S. World Team Trials championships in 2013 and 2010 (in 2010, he defeated Varner in the best-of-three finals). Bergman did come back, however, to win by fall over Dustin Kilgore to take third place overall.
Bergman's road to the Challenge Tournament finals began on Sunday with a 5-2 decision of Wynn Michalak, a three-time All-American from Illinois. In the next round, Bergman shutout Enock Francois 5-0.
The World Championships take place Sept. 7-12 in Las Vegas, Nev.