2024 Olympic Team Trials

Round 2:

57kg- Spencer Lee over Thomas Gilman FALL (10-2). Several one point scores on both sides made this a 2-2 match with a minute left. Spencer got to a leg and worked for a takedown, then a couple guts put Gilman on his back. Really nice couple matches for Spencer, think his chances of qualifying the weight are strong. Nice to see him healthy and successful again.

65kg- Zain Retherford over Nick Lee 5-0. Beautiful early double leg from Zain right into a leg lace to make it 4-0. A step out makes it 5-0 at the break. Nothing happening in the second, Zain will get his shot at qualifying the spot. He's been the best guy around this weight the last three years, he deserves this shot. Hope he can pull through in Turkey!
 
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Holy smokes, I wrote Lee off after his loss in NCAA finals. His body looked finished and mentally he was a mess. Wow! Good for him and his efforts.
My opinion at the time was that all he was suffering from were the ACL tears. Can heal 100% from those injuries, but it takes (generally speaking) a full year of rehab and healing (been there). He came back too soon - but he wanted the 4th championship. Now its nearing two years since the operations and I'm guessing those knees should be close to 100% or at 100%.
 
Haven't heard anything from Burroughs. Is he done? He didn't make the World team at 79 last year, losing to Marstellar. Now he misses on the OTTs. Does he keep trying for a few more medals at 79 (including the non OLY weights this year) or is he calling it quits? He didn't leave his shoes on the mat, so who knows. I can see him not wanting to go out w/ a somewhat hostile crowd in the stands (got booed when he wrestled a PSU guy last 2 matches).
 
Mark Hall left his shoes on the mat today after losing to Alex Dieringer in the consolations. It's hard to put into words how lucky I felt every time I watched Mark wrestle, especially at 5am in the morning watching some crappy feed from Finland or Bosnia or Slovakia. Mark was a U17 world champ and a 2x U20 world champ, one of four men's freestyle wrestlers (along with Spencer Lee, Gable Steveson, and Meyer Shapiro) to win both of those tournaments. He was a national champ as a true freshman at Penn State, beating Zahid Valencia and Bo Jordan on back-to-back nights to win. He finished second the next two years and lost his senior season to COVID, but was so much fun to watch. Some of my favorite Mark memories:

- 2014 U17 world champ. 2014 was the year the youth renaissance started for Team USA. The U20 team had a ton of medalists and the U17 team won three gold medals, the same total they had won from 2011-2013 combined. Hall made three U20 teams after that, winning in 2016 and 2017.

- FloWrestling Who's #1 in 2014 against Anthony Valencia. Top two guys in the country and Marky just blew him out. I mean, he was an eventual 6x Minnesota state champ, we knew he was good from the time he was in 6th grade, but dominating Valencia like that really made him jump from #1 in a class type of guy to #1 in a half-decade type of talent.

- Collegiate matches with Zahid Valencia. The headgear grab in 2017, the two losses in the finals in 2018/2019. Hall had a dual win in 2019 as well, but the 2-2 match score is dampened a bit by Zahid's two championships to one for Mark. These two guys always scrapped and always came to win.

I wish Mark Hall well in whatever comes next. From Baybee Marky, to playing the recorder Mark at Big 10s, to veteran competitor. I'll miss him.
 
Team USA had an incredible Murder's Row from 74 thru 97 w/ JB the GOAT, Dake, Magic Man, Cox, and Captain America for quite a while. W/ Cox out of 92 and now retired, JB missing 23 Worlds and now the OLY, DT losing round 1 to Brooks (but may win 2 tonight), that group seems to be aging out. What a fun ride it was.

I remember when they added 79 & 92. That fit perfectly for USA's lineup w/ Cox and Dake. Dake was behind JB then and Cox moved up from 86 making room for DT.
 
Mark Hall left his shoes on the mat today after losing to Alex Dieringer in the consolations. It's hard to put into words how lucky I felt every time I watched Mark wrestle, especially at 5am in the morning watching some crappy feed from Finland or Bosnia or Slovakia. Mark was a U17 world champ and a 2x U20 world champ, one of four men's freestyle wrestlers (along with Spencer Lee, Gable Steveson, and Meyer Shapiro) to win both of those tournaments. He was a national champ as a true freshman at Penn State, beating Zahid Valencia and Bo Jordan on back-to-back nights to win. He finished second the next two years and lost his senior season to COVID, but was so much fun to watch. Some of my favorite Mark memories:

- 2014 U17 world champ. 2014 was the year the youth renaissance started for Team USA. The U20 team had a ton of medalists and the U17 team won three gold medals, the same total they had won from 2011-2013 combined. Hall made three U20 teams after that, winning in 2016 and 2017.

- FloWrestling Who's #1 in 2014 against Anthony Valencia. Top two guys in the country and Marky just blew him out. I mean, he was an eventual 6x Minnesota state champ, we knew he was good from the time he was in 6th grade, but dominating Valencia like that really made him jump from #1 in a class type of guy to #1 in a half-decade type of talent.

- Collegiate matches with Zahid Valencia. The headgear grab in 2017, the two losses in the finals in 2018/2019. Hall had a dual win in 2019 as well, but the 2-2 match score is dampened a bit by Zahid's two championships to one for Mark. These two guys always scrapped and always came to win.

I wish Mark Hall well in whatever comes next. From Baybee Marky, to playing the recorder Mark at Big 10s, to veteran competitor. I'll miss him.
Had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times, an absolutely great kid too. Still surprised he never did much on the senior level after winning Juniors twice.
 
Round 2:

57kg- Spencer Lee over Thomas Gilman FALL (10-2). Several one point scores on both sides made this a 2-2 match with a minute left. Spencer got to a leg and worked for a takedown, then a couple guts put Gilman on his back. Really nice couple matches for Spencer, think his chances of qualifying the weight are strong. Nice to see him healthy and successful again.

65kg- Zain Retherford over Nick Lee 5-0. Beautiful early double leg from Zain right into a leg lace to make it 4-0. A step out makes it 5-0 at the break. Nothing happening in the second, Zain will get his shot at qualifying the spot. He's been the best guy around this weight the last three years, he deserves this shot. Hope he can pull through in Turkey!
125kg- Mason Parris over Hayden Zillmer 7-0. Technical masterpiece by Mason, shot clock point in the 1st was the only score at the break. Three takedowns in the second makes it 7-0, really impressive stuff from Mason. Think he's right there for medal contention in Paris, depending on draw.

97kg- Kyle Snyder over Isaac Trumble 4-0. Pretty sure this was four stepouts, pretty typical Snyder stuff. Third Olympics for Kyle, first since I think Bruce to make three men's Freestyle Olympic teams. No Sadulaev at Olympics will help, but there are plenty of other young good guys that can (and have) beat him.

74kg- Dake gets a shot clock point and then pokes Nolf in the eye (only one of those earns you a point). 1-0 after the break, another step out and shot clock made it 3-0. A late stepout ends things 3-1, Dake returns to the Olympics. Outside of Sidakov, not many guys that can beat Dake when he's on.

86kg- Aaron Brooks is the truth
 
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Brooks won’t even metal at the Olympics!! 65 won’t qualify either!! I love the fact they all wrestle together but that could be a curse as well
 
Brooks won’t even metal at the Olympics!! 65 won’t qualify either!! I love the fact they all wrestle together but that could be a curse as well
Brooks is absolutely medaling. We’ll see about Zain, love him at 70 KG still wary of him being down at 65.

Really excited to finally see Spencer in the Olympics, think he can give people problems.

Congrats to Fowlerville Michigan, population 2,937, 2 Olympic trials champs in Greco, Roberts at 60 KG, Coon at 130 KG.

Marcus Blaze, have yourself a tourney. Wins over Lilledahl and Jax. Does he have a case for #1 P4P in high school?

Kennedy Blades and Amit Elor, can they win gold? Know absolutely nothing about the weights at large but my goodness those 2 are impressive.
 
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The GOAT JB doesn’t make the finals. Magic Man might have been the best chance at capturing a few more golds and becoming the next GOAT…until Brooks spoiled everything. Will JB or DT follow Cox and retire? The strange thing about DT is that he was kind of at the top of his game.
 
The GOAT JB doesn’t make the finals. Magic Man might have been the best chance at capturing a few more golds and becoming the next GOAT…until Brooks spoiled everything. Will JB or DT follow Cox and retire? The strange thing about DT is that he was kind of at the top of his game.
Non-Olympic weight worlds coming up, could give it a couple more months and try to make one last team. Really wish more guys left their shoes on the mat, Alex Marinelli announced he was done today on Twitter.
 
I mean, he was an eventual 6x Minnesota state champ, we knew he was good from the time he was in 6th grade, but dominating Valencia like that really made him jump from #1 in a class type of guy to #1 in a half-decade type of talent.
Mark wrestled for Ryle in Kentucky in 7th and 8th grade. Some of my memories of him were coming to Golden Cross club practices at LaSalle and competing in the GMVWA Holiday tournament. The only loss I saw him suffer was against some Senior defending state champ from Graham when he was only a 7th grader. It was kinda surreal for a true 7th grader to be that good. I was really sad to see him leave the region for high school. Was hoping he would have come to Ohio but I didn't blame him for going to Minnesota.
 
The only loss I saw him suffer was against some Senior defending state champ from Graham when he was only a 7th grader. It was kinda surreal for a true 7th grader to be that goo
That would have been against Bracsetta (sp?) from Graham. I was also at that tournament. I believe Brascetta went on to wrestle at Virginia Tech. I also seem to remember that he was ranked #1 in the country at Graham at 106 when he was either a soph or a freshman. But then again, I believed another wrestler with ties to Kentucky and Ohio was 16 when he was on an Olympic team...
 
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Watching the matches between Taylor & Brooks and knowing nothing of their training together, nor competitive history, what I deduced is that both "looked" like guys who saw this coming. Neither seemed overly surprised, nor underly shocked.
The shame is of course that Taylor's fate will now be similar to the old Soviet days where the 2nd or 3rd best wrestler in the world was from the same team and yet wouldn't be competing on the biggest stage. From Taylor's perpective, it just goes to show once again how grateful you must be for the few opportunities life grants you to reach or exceed your goals...for time always wins and it is always shorter than you'd like.
 
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My opinion at the time was that all he was suffering from were the ACL tears. Can heal 100% from those injuries, but it takes (generally speaking) a full year of rehab and healing (been there). He came back too soon - but he wanted the 4th championship. Now its nearing two years since the operations and I'm guessing those knees should be close to 100% or at 100%.
Absolutely right. A lot of Iowa and Spencer haters eating a large portion of crow. Of course the #1 ranked Ramos must of been a beast to beat Lee right???!! Wait he was a DNP????? lol. Anyone who knows wrestling and watched Lee unable to scramble and severely hampered in neutral at 2023 NCAA'A knew it was his injuries not Ramos ability. Kid came back and shut all the JV gang up.
 
Absolutely right. A lot of Iowa and Spencer haters eating a large portion of crow. Of course the #1 ranked Ramos must of been a beast to beat Lee right???!! Wait he was a DNP????? lol. Anyone who knows wrestling and watched Lee unable to scramble and severely hampered in neutral at 2023 NCAA'A knew it was his injuries not Ramos ability. Kid came back and shut all the JV gang up.
Ramos’s pin of Lee and has nothing to do with the Olympic trials.
 
Ramos’s pin of Lee and has nothing to do with the Olympic trials.
I believe he is talking about this years NCAA tournament and Ramos not placing whereas last year he pinned Lee in the semis. Just a bad year this year for Ramos. He was beaten by Marcus Blaze at the Clarion Open, but reclaimed the #1 spot during the year. It might be more accurate to state that Ramos win last year had more to do with Lee not being close to 100% - although he never used that as an excuse or to take anything away from Ramos winning. That, to me, was pure class.
 
I believe he is talking about this years NCAA tournament and Ramos not placing whereas last year he pinned Lee in the semis. Just a bad year this year for Ramos. He was beaten by Marcus Blaze at the Clarion Open, but reclaimed the #1 spot during the year. It might be more accurate to state that Ramos win last year had more to do with Lee not being close to 100% - although he never used that as an excuse or to take anything away from Ramos winning. That, to me, was pure class.
Could say that all the time. You could argue Mendez was not 100% after having to wrestle McKenna, Greene, and Yanni while Zain sat in the semis.
 
I don't disagree although it seems a bit disingenuous to compare being one hundred percent to wrestling with torn ACL's while trying to win your fourth NCAA title...

He was not at his best and lost. Happens all the time. I just think its odd that some people cant get over it and wantnto use it as a reason to take shots at his competitors.
 
I hope Brooks can medal at world's. One can argue he should have lost to Zahid, and it should be noted that he also gave a "four" in the match against Dieringer. Brooks/DT could have been a little bit of they know each other so well, and Brooks had a plan to win the match (vs. Brooks is better against the proverbial field in comparison to DT).

Crazy to think that Myles Amine might be the fourth best American (AT BEST) at the weight yet well positioned to medal at the Olympics (again) because he reps San Marino.
 
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