NC State's 3x NCAA All-American Trent Hidlay (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Last night, NC State's 3x NCAA All-American Trent Hidlay announced over his social media channels that he will use his sixth year of eligibility in 2023-24. Unlike previous years, Hidlay's final campaign will take place at 197 lbs. During his four years of competition for the Wolfpack, Hidlay has amassed a 78-11 record with three ACC titles and three top-five finishes at the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, he was awarded NWCA First-Team All-American honors in 2019-20.
With Hidlay back and moving up a weight class, what does it mean for the rest of the country? What is the impact on the two weight classes affected by the move?
1) Still contending with Aaron Brooks
In each of Hidlay's three trips to the NCAA Championships, Aaron Brooks has gotten his hand raised Saturday night on the big stage. A move to 197 lbs, gets you away from Brooks, right? Not quite. There has been plenty of chatter about Brooks moving up, as well. The Nittany Lions also will get grad transfer Bernie Truax, an All-American at 197 lbs in March, but one who weighed significantly lighter than the rest of the NCAA field. The early assumptions have been that Truax will wrestle 184, while Brooks moves to 197.
Since the NCAA shutdown of 2020, Hidlay has only lost seven collegiate bouts. Three of those have come to Brooks. Each coming in the NCAA semis or finals. Now, fans/media usually drive the "bumping away from a stud" narrative. I'd imagine that being the competitor that Hidlay is, he's looking for another shot at Brooks, rather than finding an easier path to a title.
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