Brooks stuns Taylor in men’s freestyle at Olympic Trials

Updated: April 20, 2024

Photo: Two weeks after winning a fourth NCAA title for Penn State, Aaron Brooks (top) stunned 2021 Olympic gold medalist David Taylor at 86 kilos in men’s freestyle at the Olympic Trials. (Sam Janicki photo)

The following are the Best-of-3 Championship matches in the six men’s freestyle weight of the 2024 Olympic Trials in State College, Pa., April 19-20. WIN Magazine will provide even more comprehensive coverage of this event in our next issue, printed May 1. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.


57k/125.5 pounds – Spencer Lee (HWC / TMWC) defeats Thomas Gilman (NLWC / TMWC), two matches to none

Match 1 – Lee dec. Gilman, 6-3 — After trading step out points in the first, Lee scored a single leg takedown and immediately followed with a trap arm gut wrench to take a 5-1 lead. Gilman answered back with a big lift double leg on the edge that yielded a brick throw to check for exposure, but the two-point takedown was not enough to tie the bout for the NLWC athlete. Lee added a point for the failed challenge to win 6-3.

Match 2 – Lee pinned Gilman, 5:58 — Gilman led, 2-2 on criteria, before Lee gained two points for exposure and then used successive gut wrenches to plant and hold his former teammate and training partner for a fall just before time expired. Lee must now qualify the weight class, May 9-12 in Turkey, for a chance to wrestle in Paris this August.


65k/143.5 pounds — Zain Retherford (NLWC / TMWC) defeats Nick Lee (NLWC / TMWC), two matches to none.

Match 1 – Retherford dec. Lee, 2-1 — The pair of NLWC teammates traded passivity points while a step out point proved to be the difference in a match that endured several blood time stoppages.

Match 2 – Retherford dec. Lee, 5-0 — Retherford struck early with a takedown and exposure within the first 2 seconds of the bout and never looked back, as the former three-time NCAA champ earned a controlling 5-0 win. He will look to qualify the weight class for the 2024 Paris Olympics in Istanbul, Turkey in early May.


74k/163 pounds — Kyle Dake (NLWC / TMWC) defeats Jason Nolf (NLWC / TMWC) 2 matches to none.

Match 1 – Dake dec. Nolf, 4-1 — Dake scored a takedown in the first minute and added a push out and passivity point to defeat his fellow NLWC foe in match one.

Match 2 – Dake dec. Nolf, 3-1 — Dake solidified his second-straight Olympic berth on the strength of two passivity points and a push out.


86k/189 pounds — Aaron Brooks (NLWC / TMWC) defeats David Taylor (NLWC / TMWC), 2 matches to none.

Match 1 – Brooks dec. Taylor, 4-1 — The younger NLWC teammate notched a 4-1 victory over the 2021 Olympic champ, scoring takedowns in each period and yielding only a push out point.

Match 2 – Brooks dec. Taylor, 3-1 — Brooks scored a point for passivity and countered a Taylor high crotch for a defensive takedown to go up 3-0. Despite yielding a passivity point in the final minute, the first-time Olympian countered a deep Taylor shot and held off the veteran Nittany Lion in the waning seconds to take the series in two bouts.


97k/213.5 pounds — Kyle Snyder (NLWC / TMWC) defeats Isaac Trumble (WRTC / TMWC), 2 matches to none.

Match 1 – Snyder dec. Trumble, 5-0 — Snyder earned a workmanlike victory, securing takedowns in each period plus a step out point to take match one of the series.

Match 2 – Snyder dec. Trumble, 4-0 — Snyder controlled the second bout, pushing the pace with a handful of push out points to become just the 11th three-time Olympian.


125k/265.5 pounds — Mason Parris (CKWC / TMWC) defeats Hayden Zillmer (GWC), 2 matches to none.

Match 1 – Parris dec. Zillmer, 7-0 — The former NCAA champ from Michigan used three takedowns and a passivity point to handle the challenge tournament champion, Zillmer, in match one.

Match 2 – Parris dec. Zillmer, 7-0 — Parris cemented his Olympic berth with another 7-0 defeat of Zillmer, scoring a point for passivity in the first frame before pulling away with three consecutive takedowns in the second.