Three Nittany Lion Wrestling Club Members Secure Spots On U.S. Olympic Team

The final session of the 2024 U.S. Olympic wrestling team trials took place Saturday evening in the Bryce Jordan Center.

As the dust settled from the morning session, the championship series finals were the only thing left to play out. After the competition, the majority of the United States Olympic wrestling team will be decided. Multiple Penn State affiliates in the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club are still alive and looking to gain the opportunity to compete for the ultimate prize.

How It Happened

74 Kilograms: Kyle Dake vs. Jason Nolf

After taking the first round against his NLWC teammate in Session III, top-seeded Kyle Dake completed the series sweep against Jason Nolf.

The two wrestlers remained on their feet for the entirety of the first half. Nolf was docked for passivity, giving the lead to Dake before the half ended. At the end of the first half, Dake led 1-0. Nolf was hit with passivity again, awarding Dake another point. Dake pushed Nolf out of the circle, growing his lead to 3-0. Nolf got in on a single-leg takedown with minimal time left but was only awarded one point for pushing Dake out of the circle. Dake won 3-1 and improved his career record over Nolf to 8-0. With the series sweep of Nolf, Dake will represent the United States in the 74 kilogram weight class in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

86 Kilograms: David Taylor vs. Aaron Brooks

The first-round matchup between the two Penn State alumni and NLWC teammates left an entire arena in shock. Aaron Brooks defeated David Taylor 4-1 in Session III, and the two went to battle again in Session IV.

Taylor was the aggressor to start the match as he had multiple shot attempts within the first few seconds. Brooks got on the board first with a caution for hands in the face by Taylor. Shortly after, Brooks secured a takedown to extend his lead to 3-0. The score remained the same heading into the second half. Taylor got in on a single leg shot but was unable to come up with any points. Brooks got hit with passivity and gave a point to Taylor. Brooks held on to win 3-1 and defeated Taylor to earn his representation for the United States in the 86 kilogram weight class.

97 Kilograms: Kyle Snyder

The last NLWC member needed to book their trip to Paris was Kyle Snyder as he took on Isaac Trumble of Wolfpack RTC. Snyder won the first matchup in Session III 5-0.

Snyder was the attacking wrestler to start, pushing Trumble out and gaining a point. Snyder gained a second point along the edge of the mat to go up 2-0 quickly. As time ran out, the score remained the same going into the second half. Snyder got in deep on a double leg takedown but only scored one point for pushing Trumble out of bounds, extending his lead to 3-0 with 2:30 left in the match. Trumble got put on a passivity clock and eventually conceded a point, making Snyder’s advantage 4-0. Snyder got in on a shallow ankle pick but didn’t secure any points as it was well defended by Trumble. The clock ran out, securing Snyder the series sweep and the honor to represent the United States in the 97 kilogram weight class in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

What’s Next?

All of the winners from the weight classes today aside from 57 kilograms and 65 kilograms are set to travel to Paris and compete for Olympic glory. Spencer Lee of the 57 kilogram class and Zain Retherford of the 65 kilogram class will travel to Turkey to qualify their weight classes for the United States national team.

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About the Author

Cooper Cazares

Cooper is a junior majoring in digital and print journalism from Virginia Beach, Va. He can be found with a long face on most Sunday afternoons for he is unfortunately a lifelong Washington Commanders fan. When he isn't watching sports, Cooper is usually tearing up at "Rudy" or taking a well-deserved nap. To reach him, follow him on Instagram (@cooper_cax) or Twitter (@CooperCazares). You can also email him at [email protected].

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