Cox Decision Opens The Door For Dieringer To Grab An Olympic Team Spot

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The biggest news in recent wrestling memory broke yesterday as world champion J’den Cox announced his move to 97kg to challenge Kyle Snyder for the Olympic team spot at that weight.



The news sent ripples across the wrestling landscape as it added to an already-loaded up 97kg weight class, but had the opposite effect on 86kg by taking away a guy who would almost certainly be the No. 1 contender for the Olympic team bid.

Cox’s decision now opens the door for Alex Dieringer to challenge for the spot at 86kg. The Hodge winner and three-time NCAA champion had his own weight decision to make after competing at the non-Olympic weight of 79kg last year. Dieringer could have opted to cut to 74kg, which would have resulted in him tangling with world/Olympic champions Kyle Dake and Jordan Burroughs. Ultimately he opted to go up to 86kg and compete with David Taylor, Zahid Valencia, and possibly J’den Cox.

It’s still sort of unclear as to whether or not 86kg is the right weight for Alex Dieringer. There’s no doubt that he’s naturally more of a 79kg and really just had to make a pretty tough decision in this Olympic year of what weight to go. Unfortunately he hasn’t had quite the same pop up at 86kg that he had at 79kg. 

At 79kg, with the exception of his matches with Kyle Dake, Dieringer looked nearly untouchable. Domestically he dominated everyone except Dake, and even on the international scene he won the Dan Kolov in Bulgaria and the Yasar Dogu without seeing much resistance. At 86kg, he’s dropped some bouts and has definitely been challenged more than he was at 79kg.

With Cox moving to 97kg, it seems as though Dieringer made the right call to move up. Though David Taylor is a world champion and the favorite to take the spot, he is coming off a recent injury. Dieringer’s losses at 86kg are to Zahid Valencia and Myles Martin, both of whom he has beaten before and could reasonably avenge. The prospect of navigating that bracket is seemingly a better one that battling with Jordan Burroughs, who’s one of the greatest to ever lace them up, and Kyle Dake, who knocked off Dieringer at 79kg last year.

What’s been a rough week for contenders at 97kg may have opened up the door a bit for Alex Dieringer and the rest of the field at 86kg.


Seth Duckworth is a Stillwater-based writer who covers Oklahoma State University wrestling for Pistols Firing Blog, the best OSU news and community site on the internet. Follow Seth on Twitter.

Way Too Early Lineup Look: 2020-21 Ohio State Buckeyes

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Another week removed from the NCAA tournament that never happened, another week of way too early lineup looks. Let’s head to Columbus, where the roster is young and full of options for starters.

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With 50 NCAA qualifiers, including 34 who appear in the final national rankings, the expanded Mid-American Conference left its mark on an abbreviated collegiate wrestling season.

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Bader Show: Kayla Miracle, Bryan Snyder, & Jason Borrelli

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On this episode of the Bader Show, Bader and Bray talk to Kayla Miracle, Bryan Snyder, and Jason Borrelli.

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Spencer Lee Wins The 2020 Hodge Trophy

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Iowa junior Spencer Lee has won the 2020 Hodge Trophy, becoming the third Hawkeye and first 125-pounder to win the award.

Oregon State Hires Chris Pendleton

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IOC Sets New Dates For The 2021 Olympics

Bill Zadick After Pan Am Qualifier

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New dates have officially been set for the postponed Olympics. The 2021 Games will be held July 23-August 8, 2021.

Mark Ironside Uniting Community During Pandemic

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Two-time NCAA champion Mark Ironside is doing his part during the COVID-19 pandemic to help bring people together by selling UNITE Wrestling shirts. 

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I like to make a distinction between a high crotch and a head-outside-single. One thing that you should probably understand is that this is less of a rule and more of a coaching preference. I started making the distinction when I was teaching kids in order to separate the ideas in my athletes' heads. If you have any insight into how you teach the difference between these two specific techniques, please get a hold of me. I'd love to hear it.