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Super Match Recap

Super Match Recap


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DETROIT, MI-Two of high school wrestling’s brightest stars met in a long-awaited rematch to kick off the RUDIS Super Match held at the Sound Board theater in the MotorCity Casino Hotel. Jesse Mendez and Casey Swiderski, both four-time state champions, faced off for the first time since Swiderski upset then-top-ranked Mendez in September at FloWrestling’s Who’s Number One and the rematch did not disappoint. Swiderski dominated from the opening whistle and cruised to a 10-4 finish to prove that his win over Mendez last fall was no fluke. 


Swiderski, a Dundee, Michigan native and Iowa State signee, opened up the scoring early with a beautiful ankle pick and added another takedown to lead 4-1 after the first period. With the score 4-2 in the third period, the future Cyclone kept on the attack and added two more takedowns along with an escape and riding time to finalize the 10-4 victory. This was the only folkstyle bout of the night, but it provided the perfect springboard into the freestyle portion of the card. Watch the full first bout on



The second bout of the night was also one between two high school superstars in Virginia Tech signee Caleb Henson and Stanford signee Hunter Garvin. Henson, a Georgia native, led 5-4 at the intermission after an exciting first period that saw both athletes score takedowns. In the second frame, Henson widened the gap with a takedown and step-out point to go up 8-4 and put Garvin in desperation mode. Garvin was able to counter with a crotch lift for two, but Henson stifled any further attempts and walked away as an 8-6 winner to conclude the high school portion of the card.



In the first senior-level bout of the night, contested at 79 kg, a pair of former college stars took the mat in Mitch Finesilver and David McFadden. Finesilver, an NCAA All-American at Duke who now competes for Israel, held a 1-0 lead early but McFadden quickly changed the dynamic of the bout with a double-leg takedown and drove Finesilver to his back for a four-point move to lead 4-1 at the break. The second period saw Finesilver trying to generate offense from the opening whistle, but he was unable to get through McFadden’s defense and even gave up a counter-attack takedown to trail 6-1. Finesilver was able to add a late step-out but fell to McFadden, a 4X All-American at Virginia Tech, by a final score of 6-2.



The first women’s bout of the night saw an established presence in Erin Golston win a tight battle, 2-2 on criteria, over rising star Emily Shilson at 50 kg. The score at intermission was 2-1 in favor of Golston on the strength of the bout’s lone takedown and a step-out for Shilson. Shilson was able to tie the bout with a second step-out, but the U23 World champion was unable to overcome Golston’s criteria advantage and fell 2-2 based on Golston having the bout’s largest score.



65 kg provided the most exciting and wildest bout of the night, as Seth Gross and Evan Henderson put up a combined 24 points in a match that saw multiple lead changes and drama down to the final whistle. These two wasted no time, trading scores early in a first period that ended in a 6-5 lead for Gross. The second period had more of the same, with both athletes scoring multiple takedowns and exposures to set the stage for some late-match drama. With Henderson trailing and less than 20 seconds remaining, the UNC product stepped over a go-behind attempt from Gross and immediately transitioned into a turn to take the lead. Gross was able to secure a reversal in the final flurry, but could not turn Henderson. After six minutes of great action, Henderson was the victor via a 13-11 decision. 



In one of the night’s most lopsided contests, Canadian Olympian and Oregon State All-American Amar Dhesi racked up ten step-outs to claim a 12-7 victory over 2019 NCAA finalist Derek White at 125 kg. Dhesi built a 4-0 lead, all on push-outs, before White took a 5-4 lead by way of a four-point chest wrap and an additional point awarded after a failed Dhesi challenge. Dhesi completely dominated the second period, outscoring White 8-2 as he racked up step-outs and cautions.



Junior World champion, Olympic alternate, and high school phenom Kennedy Blades put on a show at 72 kg against two-time World Team member Victoria Francis. Blades scored two early takedowns to lead 4-1 at the break. In the second period, she blew things open and used a textbook double leg for four to cap off a 14-1 technical fall. Blades, who hails from Broadview, Illinois, plans to attend Arizona State and compete for the Sunkist Kids RTC.



In the first 97 kg matchup of the night, U.S. Open champion Nate Jackson and U.S. Olympic Trials runner-up Kollin Moore both showed flashes of highlight-reel offense and superb defense as the two battled to a 4-4 final, won by Moore on criteria. Jackson jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the strength of a takedown and Moore not being able to score after being placed on the shot clock. Moore countered with two scores of his own just before the end of the first period as he transitioned from a duck under right into a gut wrench to lead 4-3 at the break. Jackson scored the only point of the second frame on a push-out with less than 30 seconds left, but he was unable to find the winning score and fell to Moore on criteria due to Moore having two two-point moves and Jackson only having one two-pointer.



In the first installment of the card’s headliner matchup, a best-of-three series between 2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World champion J’den Cox, the crowd was not disappointed. Cox was the lone athlete to score in the first period, with his two points coming by way of Snyder not scoring while on the shot clock and a push-out. In one of the most exciting exchanges of the night, Snyder ran Cox out of bounds for a push-out and Cox threw Snyder completely off the raised platform. Officials determined that Cox did not make an attempt to stay on the mat, so a second point was awarded to Snyder for a caution on Cox. The pair traded push-outs before Cox took a 5-3 lead on a counter off of Snyder’s shot. Snyder answered in resounding fashion, working to a bodylock and lifting Cox for what was initially scored as a four-point move. Cox’s corner successfully challenged the call, arguing that there was no exposure, and the score settled at 5-5 with Snyder leading on criteria. Cox put together a few late flurries, but Snyder fended them off to take the first match in this long-awaited series.



In another hard-fought battle between seasoned veterans, Alex Dieringer bested Isaiah Martinez 4-1 at 79 kg in a bout featuring two of the most decorated wrestlers in NCAA history. Martinez scored his lone point of the bout after Dieringer was unable to score when he was put on the shot clock to lead 1-0 at the break. Dieringer got on the board in the second period with a takedown, a point for a lost challenge by Martinez, and a push-out to arrive at the final score of 4-1.



World silver medalist and 2020 Olympian Kayla Miracle rolled to an 8-2 win over Emma Bruntil at 62 kg. Miracle came out firing and built a 6-0 lead in the first period on the strength of three takedowns. She kept things rolling in the second period with a fourth takedown to go up 8-0, but Bruntil quickly answered with her lone takedown of the bout. Miracle displayed some lockdown defense down the stretch and walked away as the 8-2 winner.



At 86 kg, two-time Junior World champion Mark Hall defeated Myles Martin 2-1 on the strength of two shot clock points. Martin led 1-0 at the break on a shot clock point of his own, but he was put on the clock in the second period and failed to score, which made the score 1-1 with criteria in Hall’s favor. There were some late flurries that saw both athletes with opportunities to score, but neither was able to convert and Martin was put on the shot clock a second time in the final minute. When Martin was unable to score on the shot clock, Hall was awarded a second point and held on for the 2-1 win.



Alec Pantaleo and Jordan Oliver squared off at 70 kg in a low-scoring affair. Pantaleo, a Michigan native competing close to his hometown of Canton, scored a takedown in both periods to secure his second victory over Oliver in as many meetings by way of a 4-1 decision. Oliver’s only score of the bout came when Pantaleo was put on the shot clock and was unable to score.



In one of the night’s most anticipated matchups, two-time World Team member Zain Retherford faced off with two-time World medalist James Green at 70 kg. Green pitched a 4-0 shutout, scoring a takedown in the first period and a pair of push-outs in the second. This was the first time that the two had wrestled since the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, where Retherford won handily.



In the penultimate bout of the evening, 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt made quick work of Ronna Gross via a 10-0 technical fall in less than a minute. Hildebrandt transitioned directly from a leg attack to her patented leg lace and turned Gross four times for the 10-0 win.



In match two of the best-of-three series between Snyder and Cox, things were substantially more lopsided than the first time around. Snyder led 3-0 at the intermission on the strength of a push-out and takedown, and he continued to widen the gap in the second period. Snyder added two more push-outs to lead 5-0 before Cox answered with a push-out of his own to make it 5-1. Snyder sealed the victory with one last takedown to make the final score 7-1 and claim a clean 2-0 sweep in the series. 
Fans have been looking forward to this series for quite some time after the pair of Olympic medalists and two-time World champions appeared to be on a collision course to wrestle for the 97 kg Olympic team spot at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, which were initially delayed by the pandemic and delayed even further when Cox did not make weight at the Olympic Trials in 2021. Due to Snyder winning a medal at the 2020 Olympics, he was automatically selected as the rep for the 2021 World Championships and Cox was forced back down to 92 kg.   


Match 1: 145 lbs. HS Folkstyle –Casey Swiderski dec. Jesse Mendez, 10-4

Match 2: 153 lbs. HS Freestyle – Caleb Henson dec. Hunter Garvin, 8-6

Match 3: 79 kg – David McFadden dec. Mitch Finesilver, 6-2

Match 4: 50 kg – Erin Golston dec. Emily Shilson, 2-2

Match 5: 65 kg – Evan Henderson dec. Seth Gross, 13-11

Match 6: 125 kg – Amar Dhesi dec. Derek White, 12-7

Match 7: 72 kg – Kennedy Blades tech. fall Victoria Francis, 11-1

Match 8: 97 kg – Kollin Moore dec. Nate Jackson, 4-4

Match 9: 97 kg – Kyle Snyder dec. J’den Cox, 5-5 (match one in best-of-three series, Snyder leads 1-0)

Match 10: 79 kg – Alex Dieringer dec. Isaiah Martinez, 4-1

Match 11: 62 kg – Kayla Miracle dec. Emma Bruntil, 8-2

Match 12: 86 kg – Mark Hall dec. Myles Martin, 2-1

Match 13: 70 kg – Alec Pantaleo dec. Jordan Oliver, 4-1

Match 14: 70 kg – James Green dec. Zain Retherford, 4-0

Match 15: 53 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt tech. fall Ronna Gross, 10-0

Match 16: 97 kg – Kyle Snyder dec. J’den Cox, 7-1 (match two in best-of-three series, Snyder wins 2-0)


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