David Taylor suffers stunning upset loss, Kyle Snyder heads back for third Olympics after U.S. wrestling team trials

David Taylor won’t get a chance to compete for another championship after suffering a stunning upset loss at the U.S. wrestling trials on Saturday in State College, Penn.

Widely considered the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the world, the 2020 Olympic gold medalist Taylor was eliminated by fellow Penn State alum Aaron Brooks, who recently captured his fourth consecutive NCAA wrestling title under head coach Cael Sanderson.

Brooks eliminated Taylor with back-to-back wins in the best-of-three competition to secure his spot on the U.S. Olympic team. His performance was that much more impressive considering Taylor took him out in dominant fashion at the U.S. World Team Trials this past June before moving on to claim his third gold medal at the wrestling World Championships.

This time around, Brooks showed poise and power, stuffing Taylor’s aggressive takedowns and playing smart defense to get the win. The 23-year-old Brooks now enters the Olympics as a potential favorite to capture gold after eliminating Taylor to earn his spot on the U.S. team.

Meanwhile, Taylor, 33, may have just missed out his final chance to score another Olympic medal with his loss on Saturday.

Two-time Olympic medalist Kyle Snyder, who became the youngest gold medal winner in U.S. history in 2016 before capturing silver at the 2020 Games, earned a third straight birth to the U.S. team and now heads to Paris this summer. Snyder dispatched upstart contender Isaac Trumble in two straight matches to punch his ticket back for the 2024 Olympics.

Trumble earned his way to the finals after eliminating former Ohio State wrestler Kollin Moore, who defeated Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox in the quarterfinals. Cox announced his retirement from wrestling after the loss, as the 29-year-old veteran left his shoes on the center of the mat to signify he was calling it a career.

After winning a bronze medal at the 2020 Games, Kyle Dake also heads back to another Olympics after taking out Jason Nolf in the finals on Saturday. Dake was a heavy favorite to claim gold in 2020, but suffered a a shocking upset loss of his own during the tournament before rebounding to win a bronze medal.

Dake competed just one week after the tragic death of his father but still powered through to make it to another Olympic team in 2024.

On the women’s side, Helen Maroulis returns for her third straight Olympics after becoming the first American woman to ever win gold back in 2016, and then claiming a bronze medal at the 2020 Games. Maroulis looks to cement her place among the greatest wrestlers in American history when she hunts for another medal win in Paris.

Kennedy Blades, 20, who counts veteran MMA coach Izzy Martinez as her wrestling instructor, pulled off a huge win on Saturday when she eliminated 2020 Olympic silver medalist Adeline Gray in two straight matches. A nine-time medalist at the World Championships, Gray wasn’t able to stop Blades’ dominant run to join the U.S. Olympic team and represent the country in 2024.

Another 20-year-old prodigy also made the Olympic team after Amit Elor shut down Forrest Molinary in two straight matches. At age 17, Elor was too young to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, but she’s made an immediate impact since hitting 18.

Elor has won gold in back-to-back World Championships and she’ll be the odds-on favorite to capture gold at the 2024 Olympics as well.

The complete results for the U.S. Olympic wrestling world team trials can be found below, including notations where some weight classes have not yet actually qualified for the Games in Paris. Those wrestlers have one more chance at an upcoming tournament to qualify in the weight classes or the U.S. will not send athletes to Paris in those two divisions.

Men’s Freestyle finals:

86kg: Aaron Brooks def. David Taylor (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Brooks qualifies for the Olympics)

74kg: Kyle Dake def. Jason Nolf (wins 2-0 in best of three matches, Dake qualifies for his second straight Olympics)

97kg: Kyle Snyder def. Isaac Trumble (wins 2-0 in best of three matches, Snyder qualifies for his third straight Olympics)

125kg: Mason Parris def. Hayden Zillmer (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Parris qualifies for the Olympics)

57kg: Spencer Lee def. Thomas Gilman (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Lee still needs to qualify for the Olympics in this weight class)

65kg: Zain Retherford Def. Nick Lee (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Retherford still needs to qualify for the Olympics in this weight class)

Women’s Freestyle finals:

68kg: Amit Elor def. Forrest Molinary (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Elor qualifies for the Olympics)

57kg: Helen Maroulis def. Jacarra Winchester (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Maroulis qualifies for her third straight Olympics)

50kg: Sarah Hildebrandt def. Audrey Jimenez (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Hildebrandt qualifies for her second straight Olympics)

76kg: Kennedy Blades def. Adeline Gray (wins 2-0 in best of three matches, Blades qualifies for the Olympics

62kg: Kayla Miracle def. Macey Kilty (wins 2-0 in best of three matches, Miracle qualifies for her second straight Olympics)

53kg: Dominique Parrish def. Haley Augello (wins 2-0 in best of three matches — Parrish qualifies for the Olympics)

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