Snyder joins rare wrestling air as three-time Olympian and 10-time world and Olympic team member

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Steadily, consistently — and perhaps even quietly? — Kyle Snyder is authoring one of the greatest American wrestling careers ever.

Snyder swept Isaac Trumble, two matches to none, to win the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling on Saturday here at the Bryce Jordan Center. He will represent the U.S. at 97 kilograms in the men’s freestyle competition this summer in Paris. It will be his third trip to the Olympics. He is just 28 years old.

The Woodbine, Md., native won his best-of-three finals series matches 5-0 and 4-0. It was a ho-hum, businesslike performance. Trumble was one of the stars in Friday’s challenge tournament competition, but he hardly got anything going against Snyder.

As a result, Snyder is now on the U.S. team for a staggering 10th consecutive year. He’s been the guy at 97-kg every year since 2015, when he became the youngest American wrestler ever to win a world championship. He followed that up with Olympic gold in 2016, and has won a medal at every single world or Olympic competition since.

As if that’s not rare enough air, Snyder is now the 11th American wrestler to qualify for three Olympic competitions. He is just the second to reach three before the age of 30, joining Mark Fuller, a Greco-Roman wrestler who went to four in a row: 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992.

Fuller is one of just two Americans to wrestle in four Olympics, along with Bruce Baumgartner, who not only wrestled in four, but medaled in all four: gold in 1984, silver in 1988, gold in 1992, and bronze in 1996. Baumgartner ultimately won 13 world and Olympic medals, adding five world titles to his two Olympic golds.

Snyder is tracking toward doing the same. Entering this summer, he’s won nine consecutive world and Olympic medals, which includes three world titles, in 2015, 2017, and 2022, along with his Olympic gold in 2016. He also won silver in Tokyo, and will be a heavy favorite to win again in Paris this summer.

Before this week’s competition, Snyder took part in a promotional video with Rudis, the Ohio-based wrestling outfitter. In it, he spoke about how he wants to win “over and over again for the longest time period anyone’s ever seen.”

Snyder has already accomplished so much over the last decade — and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Here’s a weight-by-weight rundown of what happened in Session IV on Saturday:

57 kg— In a battle of former Hawkeye wrestlers, Spencer Lee triumphed over Thomas Gilman, two matches to none, to win the Trials. Lee won the first match, 6-3, thanks to a takedown and a turn in the second period. In the second, Gilman led 2-2 on criteria with 30 seconds left when Lee erupted for a takedown, two turns, and ultimately the fall in 5:58. Lee will now be charged with qualifying the U.S. for the Olympics at 57-kg at the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Turkey next month.

65 kg— In a battle of former Penn State wrestlers, Zain Retherford prevailed over Nick Lee, two matches to none, to win the Trials. These guys were teammates on the Penn State team in 2017-18, which went on to win a national team championship. But on Saturday, Retherford won, 2-1 and 5-0, to earn the spot at 65-kg. Like Spencer Lee, Retherford now must qualify the weight for Paris next month. The U.S. did not qualify this weight for the 2020 Olympics.

74 kg— Add Kyle Dake to the list of two-time Olympians after he swept his Nittany Lion WC teammate Jason Nolf in the best-of-three finals on Saturday. Dake won 4-1 and 3-1 and will get the opportunity to improve on his bronze-medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago. Since then, he’s won a pair of world titles, in 2021 and 2022, and a world silver last year.

86 kg— In another battle of former Penn State wrestlers, Aaron Brooks pulls a stunner by sweeping David Taylor, two matches to none, to win the Olympic spot. Taylor won Olympic gold in Tokyo and was the reigning world champ. But Brooks, a four-time NCAA champ for the Nittany Lions, won by scores of 4-1 and 3-1, holding Taylor without a takedown across 12 minutes of match time. Perhaps this was a passing of the torch, since Taylor is 33 and Brooks, a U23 world champ last year, is just 23.

97 kg— It was a workmanlike performance from Snyder, who is now headed to the Olympics for the third time in his illustrious Senior-level career. Snyder downed Isaac Trumble, 5-0 and 4-0, to earn the 97-kg Olympic spot. He’s been the U.S. rep at 97-kg every year for the last decade. He previously won gold in 2016 and silver in 2020. He’ll be a favorite in Paris this summer.

125 kg— Mason Parris strung together nearly identical 7-0 victories over Hayden Zillmer to earn a spot on his first Olympic team. In both match one and match two, the Indiana native and Michigan graduate scored a passivity point and three takedowns to prevail. Parris qualified the weight by winning bronze at the 2023 World Championships and will now get a shot at Olympic hardware in Paris this summer.

2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling | April 19-20, Bryce Jordan Center, State College, Pa.

Best-of-Three Championship Series Matchups

Men’s Freestyle

57 kg
Round 1: Spencer Lee (Hawkeye WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Thomas Gilman (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 6-3
Round 2: Spencer Lee (Hawkeye WC/Titan Mercury WC) fall over Thomas Gilman (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 5:58
Spencer Lee wins series, 2-0

65 kg
Round 1: Zain Retherford (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Nick Lee (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 2-1
Round 2: Zain Retherford (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Nick Lee (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 5-0
Zain Retherford wins series, 2-0

74 kg
Round 1: Kyle Dake (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 4-1
Round 2: Kyle Dake (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 3-1
Kyle Dake wins series, 2-0

86 kg
Round 1: Aaron Brooks (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. David Taylor (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 4-1
Round 2: Aaron Brooks (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. David Taylor (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC), 3-1
Aaron Brooks wins series, 2-0

97 kg
Round 1: Kyle Snyder (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Isaac Trumble (Wolfpack RTC/Titan Mercury WC), 5-0
Round 2: Kyle Snyder (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Isaac Trumble (Wolfpack RTC/Titan Mercury WC), 4-0
Kyle Snyder wins series, 2-0

125 kg
Round 1: Mason Parris (Cliff Keen WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC), 7-0
Round 2: Mason Parris (Cliff Keen WC/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC), 7-0
Mason Parris wins series, 2-0

You can watch the replays of every round from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling on Peacock. You can see all the results on Trackwrestling.

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