Topics

More

Previewing The 2024 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials

The 2024 U.S. Olympic wrestling trials kick off this weekend in State College, Pennsylvania, in hopes of finalizing the wrestling teams that will represent the United States in the upcoming Paris Olympics this summer.

The tournament begins on Friday, April 19, and runs through Saturday, April 20, including men’s and women’s freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling. Amid the wrestlers who qualified for the trials are a handful of current Penn State wrestlers, alumni, and members of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.

Throughout the weekend, Onward State will exclusively cover the freestyle brackets.

How To Watch

All sessions will be broadcast and streamed through NBC Sports via Peacock and USA Network for the entire weekend, including mat-by-mat live feeds. Coverage will also be streamed through the NBC Sports app and NBCOlympics.com.

Session I – 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (Peacock)

Session II, Challenge Tournament – 6:30 to 10 p.m. (USA Network & Peacock)

Session III – 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Peacock)

Finals – 6:30 to 10 p.m. (USA Network & Peacock)

How It Works

Before you dive into this weekend’s Olympic Trials, be sure to brush up on the freestyle wrestling rules here.

Wrestlers across six different weight classes will compete in the single-elimination challenge tournament on Friday. These wrestlers have earned a qualifying spot in the challenge tournament due to previous tournament performances, such as winning at the NCAA National Championship. In some cases, a wrestler will receive a bye directly to the challenge tournament semifinals due to being a previous world medalist.

In every bracket besides 57 kilograms and 65 kilograms, the wrestler who represented Team USA in the 2023 World Championships receive an automatic bye to the finals, where they will compete in a best-of-three series against the challenge tournament winner on Saturday.

Who To Watch For

2024 National Champion Team Members

65 kilograms

Beau Bartlett — No. 5 Seed

A national runner-up earlier this year, Bartlett announced his plan to return to the Nittany Lions for his fifth season, and with some bulletin board material after coming just short in the national and conference tournament, Bartlett will try to turn things around on the international stage.

74 kilograms

Mitchell Mesenbrink — No. 5 Seed

Mesenbrink is no stranger to international competition, as he is a former U20 silver medalist in 2022 and the U20 world champion in 2023 at 74 kilograms.

Alex Facundo — No. 9 Seed

Another current Penn State wrestler with international experience under his belt, Facundo spent the past season using his Olympic redshirt to compete on the freestyle circuit, winning the 2024 Pan-American championship at 79 kilograms on the way.

Levi Haines — No. 10 Seed

After going undefeated and winning his first NCAA Championship for the blue in white in just his second season, Haines is on a hot streak heading into the weekend.

86 kilograms

Aaron Brooks — No. 1 Seed

The second four-time national champion in Penn State history will work to perform well on the freestyle and professional circuit after graduating from his long-time home in Happy Valley.

Carter Starocci — No. 6 Seed

After many were expecting Starocci to cut some weight and compete at 74 kilograms, the Nittany Lions’ first four-time national champion seemed to have bulked up to wrestle at 86 kilograms. While Starocci’s knee injury seemed to not affect his national championship run, another weekend of multiple matches will surly pose a test.

125 kilograms

Greg Kerkvliet — No. 3 Seed

Winning his first national championship at the 2024 NCAA Championships, Kerkvliet will work to face Mason Parris at the end of the heavyweight bracket, the Michigan wrestler was the last man to defeat Kerkvliet in college competition.

Penn State Wrestling Alumni

57 kilograms

Nico Megaludis — No. 5 Seed

Megaludis was the last Nittany Lion to win a national title at 125 pounds, taking home the championship in 2016 while achieving his fourth All-American distinction.

65 kilograms

Zain Retherford — Bye Into Semifinals

Collecting a 128-3 record in his college career, three straight undefeated seasons led Retherford to two Hodge Trophy awards and three national championships. On the international stage, Retherford took home the silver medal at the 2022 World Championships.

Nick Lee — No. 1 Seed

Lee is a four-time All-American while wrestling for the blue and white and took home a national championship at 141 pounds in 2021.

74 kilograms

Jason Nolf — No. 2 Seed

Losing only three matches in his college career, Nolf is a four-time All-American and a three-time national champion.

Vincenzo Joseph — No. 7 Seed

A two-time national champion at 165 pounds, Joseph recently took his wrestling talents to coaching as he currently serves as an assistant at Stanford.

86 kilograms

David Taylor — Bye Into Finals

One of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the world, Taylor has gone on to be a three-time world champion and a gold medalist at the 2020 Olympic games.

Mark Hall — No. 5 Seed

Hall won the national title in 2017 at 176 pounds, amassing a record of 116-6 over his college career. He currently is a wrestling coach at Penn.

Max Dean — No. 7 Seed

Dean, the most recent graduate of Penn State, was the 2022 national champion at 197 pounds, capping off three All-American distinctions.

NLWC Members & Commits

On the professional and international circuit, wrestlers compete representing a wrestling club, the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club (NLWC) based in State College is often considered one of the best wrestling rooms in the world. NLWC members representing the team at the Olympic Trials are Thomas Gilman (57 kilograms), Kyle Dake (74 kilograms), Kyle Snyder (97 kilograms) and Jennifer Page (WFS 57 kilograms).

Two future Nittany Lions will also be in action this weekend as Luke Lilledahl (57 kilograms) and Connor Mirasola (86 kilograms) will take the mat, too.

Action for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 19, in the Bryce Jordan Center. All matches and mats will be streaming on Peacock.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Brendan Wagner

Brendan is a Junior majoring in print and media journalism. Born in Pittsburgh, he now lives in Mooresville, North Carolina. As a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan, you can find him on Twitter, @brchwags, often complaining about the Pittsburgh Steelers and probably Russell Wilson.

Penn State Softball Reaches NCAA Tournament For First Time In 13 Years

The Nittany Lions will face Texas State at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Former Penn State Football Quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson Transfers To Kansas State

Roberson transferred after two years with UConn.

HOTWORX Opening State College Location

The 2021 S. Atherton St. location expects to open near the end of May, pending a certificate of occupancy.

113kFollowers
164kFollowers
59.8kFollowers
4,570Subscribers