Final X Preview: World finalists Snyder, Coon and Gray look to repeat

Updated: June 14, 2019

Kyle Snyder, Adam Coon and Adeline Gray all appeared in the finals of the 2018 UWW World Championships in men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle, respectively, last October in Budapest, Hungary. Those success stories also earned these heavier-weight wrestlers automatic invitations to compete in Final X Lincoln, this Saturday, to determine what American wrestlers will compete at the 2019 Worlds this September in Kazakhstan.

Check out WIN Magazine’s final preview of these styles and weight classes of the 15 match-ups that will take place this Saturday, starting at 12 noon and 6 p.m. CDT on the campus of Nebraska; one week after a similar event took place at Rutgers University in New Jersey on June 8.

WIN Magazine will provide comprehensive coverage and analysis of both Final X locations in next issue, which will be mailed June 27. Click here to subscribe to WIN Magazine or call 888-305-0606.


MFS 97kg/213.5lb Kyle Snyder vs. Kyven Gadson

Has it been four years since Kyle Snyder made history when he became the youngest American to win a World freestyle championship in 2015 at the age of 19 in Las Vegas? The native of Woodbine, Md., who was in the midst of winning three NCAA titles for Ohio State, went on to win another World title in 2017, one year after he captured an Olympic gold medal in 2016 in Rio. The only year Snyder did not win a World/Olympic title came last October in Hungary when he lost to Russia’s Abdulrashid Sadulayev (whom Snyder beat in 2017 World final), but that World silver-medal effort guaranteed the young American a spot in Final X Lincoln for a second straight year.

And for a second straight year, Snyder will face former Iowa State collegian Kyven Gadson, the 26-year-old native of Waterloo, Iowa, and 2015 NCAA champ from Iowa State, who defeated Ty Walz in the finals of the World Team Trials this past May in Raleigh, N.C., to earn another trip to Lincoln. Gadson, who pinned Snyder in the 2015 NCAA final, actually drove the World champ off the mat platform in one of the first flurries in their first match last year, but lost consecutive bouts, 9-0 and 10-2 in the Devaney Center.

Before Snyder took the Senior World level by storm, he also excelled on the Junior level, winning a Junior World championship in 2013 and a Junior bronze in 2014. Gadson is still looking to make his first World-level U.S. freestyle team.

WFS 76kg/167.5lb Adeline Gray vs. Precious Bell

Few American women have been more dominant in USA history than this native of Denver, Colo., who tied Tricia Saunders (1992, ‘96, ‘98, ‘99) when she won her fourth World championship last October in Hungary … after also garnering three other World titles in 2012, ‘14 and ‘15 and two World bronze medals (2011 and 2013). (She also represented the USA in the 2016 Olympics, but did not place.)

Gray’s recent World title also earned her a spot in Final X for a second straight year and will take on Precious Bell, who won the World Team Trials Challenge tournament. She also won a U.S. Open championship as a No. 5 seed in April. Bell is a native of Lancaster and senior-to-be at Menlo College, where she finished fourth in the nation this past winter.

GR 130kg/286.5lb Adam Coon vs. Cohlton Schultz

A year ago, Coon had the opportunity to try qualify for the World Championships in both freestyle and Greco when he defeated Robbie Smith in the Greco-Roman World Team Trials before coming up short in freestyle at Final X last year in Bethlehem, Pa., where he lost to Nick Gwiazdowski, 6-1, 6-1. Despite his freestyle setback, the three-time NCAA All-American from Michigan excelled at the 2019 World Championships in Budapest, where he pinned three straight foes before losing in the finals.

Earning America’s first World medal since 2015 (Andy Bisek bronze) and highest placement since Dremiel Byers’ silver medal in 2009 also garnered Coon an automatic spot in this year’s Final X Lincoln.

Coon, a 24-year-old native of Fowlerville, Mich., had hoped to make the Worlds in both styles this summer, but was defeated by 19-year-old Gable Steveson in two finals matches of the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in May.

And now Coon must defeat an even younger wrestler in 18-year-old Cohlton Schultz, the 2018 Junior World bronze medals and 2017 Cadet World champion, who downedRobbie Smith in the finals of the World Team Trials Challenge tourney. A four-time Colorado state champion from Ponderosa High School, Schultz has committed to wrestle at Arizona State and recently won USA Wrestling’s Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award.

Previous/Upcoming Daily Previews of Final X, Lincoln, Neb., June 15

(Click on date to read preview)

 Monday, June 10

MFS 57kg/125.5lb Thomas Gilman vs. Daton Fix
WFS 53kg/116.5lb Sarah Hildebrandt vs. Katherine Shai
GR 60kg/132lb Leslie Fuenffinger vs. Ildar Hafizov

Tuesday, June 11

MFS 61kg/132lb Joe Colon vs. Tyler Graff
WFS 55kg/121lb Jacarra Winchester vs. Dominique Parrish
GR 63kg/138.5lb Ryan Mango vs. Xavier Johnson

Wednesday, June 12

MFS 70kg/154lb Ryan Deakinvs. James Green
WFS 59kg/130lb Alli Ragan vs. Lauren Louive
GR 72kg:/158.5lb Raymond Bunker vs. Alex Mossing

Thursday, June 13

MFS 74kg/163lb Isaiah Martinez vs. Jordan Burroughs
WFS 62kg/136.5lb Kayla Miracle vs. Mallory Velte
GR 97kg/213.5lb Lucas Sheridan vs. G’Angelo Hancock


Last weekend in Rutgers, 14 other World Team weights were determined in another Final X event that was also hosted by USA Wrestling and FloWrestling. The only exception was at 79 kilograms, where World champ Kyle Dake requested a postponement for his meeting against Alex Dieringer because of an injury.

Click here to view results from Session I of Final X Rutgers.

Click here to view results from Session II of Final X Rutgers.