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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    2024 Olympic Team Trials Men's Freestyle Preview (86, 97,125kg)

    It’s almost here! The field has been set and the eyes of the American wrestling world are ready to collectively focus on State College, Pennsylvania, the setting of the 2024 US Olympic Team Trials. The Trials are always incredible and a must-see for fans; however, this one is a bit more special after the most recent Trials. Delayed by a year, because of COVID, the 2020(1) Trials were moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and did not have the type of crowd that is expected to pack the Bryce Jordan Center this time. 

    Our previews have been broken down to half of a particular style at a time. Yesterday, we started with the first three men’s freestyle weights. Two of them are not currently qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games, so there’s more work to be done for the winners at 57 and 65 kg. Today's we've moved on the the final there weights (86,97,125 kg)

    For each weight, we’ll mention the qualifiers, along with how they qualified, and notes about each of the participants, followed by a finals prediction.

    86 kg qualifiers

    2023 World Champion at Olympic weight: David Taylor

    2023 World Medalist at non-Olympic weight: Zahid Valencia (92 kg)

    2019 World Team member: Patrick Downey

    2023 Bill Farrell champion: Trent Hidlay

    Senior National champion: Alex Dieringer

    Senior National runner-up: Mark Hall

    Senior National third place: Max Dean

    Senior National fourth place: Connor Mirasola

    Senior National fifth place: Evan Wick

    2023 U23 World Champion: Aaron Brooks

    Last Chance Qualifier champion: David McFadden

    This is an extremely Penn State-laden weight class led by one of the school’s legend’s David Taylor. Taylor has ruled this weight domestically (and generally internationally) since 2018. The only year during that span in which he didn’t make the Olympic or World team was in 2019, when he suffered a knee injury before the Final X. During his run atop the 86 kg weight class, Taylor has claimed three world titles, an Olympic gold medal and a world silver in 2021. His latest world title allows him to wait for a challenger to emerge in the best-of-three finals. 






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