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.

The Complete Jason Nolf Wrestling Biography

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Pennsylvania through and through, Jason Nolf dominated his way through high school and had no trouble continuing it at the NCAA level. Now he's trying to do the same on the Senior level. Get caught up on the complete Jason Nolf wrestling biography below.

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Bo Nickal is one of the most prominent stars in the Penn State constellation. From his high school achievements in Texas, to his legendary run at Penn State, to his international career and beyond, this is Bo Nickal's wrestling biography, from Lone Star to We Are.

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On episode 517 of FRL, the boys talk Downey-Taylor trash talk, how to incentivize guys to wrestle more on the senior level, and a 2023 recruiting questionnaire.

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Here's Why Manny Rojas Has Suitors Like The Hawkeyes, Wolverines & More

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After Penn State won it's fourth straight title in 2014, the team dropped to 6th the following year and was looking for someone to fill the impossibly big shoes of Ed Ruth and David Taylor. Zain did that alongside Jason Nolf and Bo Nickal as the trio led the Nittany Lions to 4 more titles in a row.

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Ever since the weight classes changed in 1999, Penn State and Oklahoma State have separated themselves in terms of producing results at 174. We've broken down the numbers to find out which program is 174 U.

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