GENEVA, Ohio — One of the greatest honors an athlete can hope for is to represent their country at a world championship. It is a rare experience that few people have the opportunity to live.
It’s a feeling former Mifflin County standout wrestler Trent Hidlay will get a taste of after winning the 86kg championship at the U23 World Freestyle Team Trials on Sunday.
Hidlay will travel to the U23 Freestyle World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain in October.
“Having the opportunity to represent the United States at the world championships is such an amazing feeling,” Hilay said. “I’m very proud every time I can represent our country while doing what I love. It’s a special honor and I’m very grateful to be in this position.
Hidlay went through the tournament in a flash, going 7-0 and five technical falls. He outscored his opponents 76-10. The only tough game he faced was in the round of 16 when he scored four points in the final 13 seconds to beat Michael Foy 9-7.
“I think I struggled well today and executed a lot of my attacks quickly. Yesterday wasn’t my best fight, but I was able to get the job done and move forward in the bracket. The beautiful thing about wrestling is you have to be ready and locked in for every match,” Hilay said. “I didn’t do a great job of preparing for my round of 16 match, and it got a bit scary towards the end. But being a winner means you have to find a way to get the job done when the situation gets worse. is dark. When I control the pace of the match, I can get my flow going and take care of business.
Hidlay started with a 10-0 technical drop over Josh Stillings, followed by an 11-0 technical over Michael Canigula, setting up the spectacular win over Foy. Jake Jessen was his next victim, a 14-1 technical fall. A 10-0 technical win over Will Feldkamp propelled him into the final.
Hidlay’s dominance continued in the best-of-three final. In the opener, Trent suffered a 12-1 technical fall over Trent Munoz. Hidlay took a 10-1 win in Game 2, earning a trip to the world championships.
“Freestyle is a very natural feeling for me and I love competing at this time of year. It’s a superior style to the folk style, so it helps keep things fresh for me and opens up more opportunities in the sport. Hilay said. “The way I train allows me to always be ready when I need it. My training has been phenomenal and I have taken care of my mind. It helps me grow and I crave more at this point in my career, I’ve been wrestling consistently year after year since I was little, so competing in the offseason is easy for me.
Making the win even more special was having his older brother Hayden in his corner. Hayden was unable to make it to the recent Senior World Team Trials, where Trent finished third.
“He probably understands my struggle more than anyone else in the country, so he knows what positions I need to be in and what my strategy should be,” Thirty said. “It’s a good mix of technical advice and keeping my emotional level peak between periods and games. He’s already showing how good a coach he is, so I know his future will be bright. Whenever I can competing with him in my corner is a blessing, and I know that winning or losing, we do it together, and that’s what’s most important to me.
Never one to lack confidence in his abilities, Hidlay’s goal is not to win a medal. He wants the gold.
“My plan for the world championships is to show up and win this fucking thing. A world championship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ll have some good months of training to prepare, so I know that I will be ready to face the best in the world. Hilay said. “Smart, relentless wrestling will put me in a position to beat anyone I come up against. I can’t wait to improve and prepare to win. A trip to Spain in October sounds pretty good to me. And a world title will be the icing on the cake.