Hidlay to wrestle for US at junior worlds

NC State photo
Mifflin County graduate Trent Hidlay wins on his own college mat in World Team Trials Saturday.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Not many people can say they are the best in the country at what they do. Former Mifflin County wrestler Trent Hidlay can.

Hidlay, fresh off a win at the U.S. Open in April, defeated Victor Marcelli 2-0 in a best of three series at the Junior World Team Trials on Saturday. Hidlay, a redshirt freshman at North Carolina State, will represent the United States at 86 kilograms at the Junior World Championships in Estonia in August.

“I’m super excited that I made my first world team, especially since I was able to do it in my home gym here at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh,” Hidlay said. “There’s been so much work put into this moment and I’m really thankful for my coaches and teammates that have helped prepare me for this tournament. I’m proud of the way I competed and I’m extremely grateful to represent our country in Estonia.”

Hidlay bumped up to 86kg (189 pounds) after wrestling at 174 during his redshirt collegiate season. The added weight wasn’t a problem thanks to the Wolfpack coaching staff and the talented upper weights in the room.

“Moving up in weight is definitely challenging, but I’ve had a lot of help from my coaches and practice partners adjusting to the weight change. I’ve been working hard in the weight room with our strength coach to get bigger and stronger so I can compete with the bigger guys,” Hidlay said. “I practice with some of the best upper-weight wrestlers in the country every day, so I know when I go into a match that I’m prepared and there’s nothing I will see that I haven’t seen before. I’m still working on gaining weight and strength, but I felt great at the U.S. Open and the World Team Trials.”

Hidlay defeated Marcelli, a redshirt freshman at Virginia, 12-7 in the first match and 11-4 in the second. The future ACC rivals had some familiarity heading into the competition.

“My opponent was tough and I knew he was going to give me hard-fought matches. I wrestled him twice during the season, so we were familiar with each other,” Hidlay said. “He did a great job at defending my underhook, knee pick and he scored some big points off of some of my attacks early in both of the matches. I had to make some mid-match adjustments both times to create some offensive opportunities. I was able to get some points on the board and come out with the wins.

“My strategy going into the matches was to stick to what I’m best at and dictate the pace early,” he added. “I found my groove and stayed offensive to make sure I left no doubt. I try to go into each match with the same attitude and strategy — to dominate and do whatever I have to do in order to win.”

Fresh off two PIAA titles and an 81-match winning streak to end his high school career, Hidlay hasn’t missed a beat in college, going 24-3 in his redshirt year, placing at the Southern Scuffle and now his success on the freestyle circuit.

“It’s been a great year for me and I’m proud of how much I’ve grown as a wrestler and as a student of the sport over the past year. Redshirting is tough, but I’m glad the coaches have confidence in me and gave me the chance to make such important gains in my wrestling,” Hidlay said. “I’ve learned valuable lessons that will help me jump levels in the future and for that I am happy I went through the redshirt circuit. I’m ready to be the guy and help NC State win a national championship. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of learning to do, but I feel good where I’m at right now. I won’t be satisfied until I win it all with my team.”

Older brother Hayden, a two-time NCAA All-American, dropped a 5-4 decision to 2019 NCAA champion Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Senior Open over the weekend. Despite the setback, rest assured Hayden will be in the corner for Trent’s world championship quest.

“My brother has been and will continue to be my biggest influence. He’s going to help get me ready to win gold in Estonia,” Hidlay said. “This is what we live for and it’s what we love. We are going to keep working until we win it all, wherever and whenever that may be.”

The younger Hidlay is focused and ready to begin the challenge of being the best in the world. Part of what drives him is the community support both he and his brother receive.

“Leading up to the world championships, I’m going to work on a lot of situations with my coaches that will help me compete for a world title,” Hidlay said. “I have my sights set on being the best in the world and I’m ready to get back to work to make it happen. I know I’m in the right place to accomplish my goals and I’m surrounded by the right people to help me do so.

“I’m really thankful for the support that Hayden and I get from the community. It’s awesome to have Mifflin County in our corner throughout our careers.”