Metz of West Fargo wins Greco-Roman national title in stunning fashion

Tuesday July 19, the future was now.

The future student of West Fargo High School had a dominant performance in the Greco-Roman junior division winning by pin in such a quick manner that he challenged someone who is classified as a heavyweight. The 28-second fall to Thomas Helton of Elmhurst, Ill. Was so quick that coaches of the North Dakota Greco-Roman Wrestling Team had their mouths open as they watched a slow-motion replay on a smartphone .

“It’s a true story, my dad told me to go fat or come home so I said why not go,” Metz said. “He was there, so why not take him.

It was his second national title, but the first in the junior division. The move is something Metz said he has done in all styles, from traditional high school folk style to Greco-Roman and freestyle summer styles.

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“We watched how he locked it on, we slowed it down and it was awesome,” said Luke Mellmer, the North Dakota coach who is also the head coach of Mandan High School. “You could see he had such a good feeling. He obviously knew he had to throw it and he did.

“I honestly think he pushes the kids away and they panic a little bit and it all shows. It must be. He’s a strong kid.”

This force has been on display all year round. The last time Metz didn’t win a tournament was in this event last year, when he didn’t make a place in the junior free division, losing in the second round to a wrestler from Pennsylvania. Since then, the steamroller has been running at full speed and there was no one to stop it this week at the Fargodome.

Metz took the prize for most falls in the shortest time, pinning four opponents in 2 minutes and 22 seconds. He won his first three hairpin games in 51 seconds, 32 seconds and 30 seconds. It wasn’t that quick in the quarter-finals, winning 10-0 by technical fall and 12-0 in the semi-final, also by technical fall.

His opponent for the title game was not wearing those credentials, making their way to the illuminated center stage in the dark dome. And it showed.

“I just like to stay calm and when it comes to game time I just like getting into the zone,” Metz said. “I love winning on the big stage again and I love that my friends and family are supporting me and being behind me here.”

Metz won a Greco-Roman junior (15-16) title two years ago and turned that experience into a pair of individual Class A North Dakota titles. The Junior division (17-18 years old) promised to bring competitors with a little more strength and experience to the table.

Metz also brought it, and then some.

Last month, he verbally engaged in the state of North Dakota in both wrestling and football, although he is classified as a walkon in football. In a post-match USA Wrestling webstream interview, he wore an NDSU T-shirt.

“I have a lot of support in all directions, especially NDSU. They are really good for me that way,” he said. “I will remember these memories for the rest of my life.”

Championship matches

100 pounds: Brendon Garcia, Colo., Tech drop on Brenden Chaowanapibool, Wash, 11-0.

106: Jaret Lane, Pennsylvania, Dec. Elijah Varona, Florida, 5-2

113: Dack Punke, Illinois, technician. Bump into Joseph Harrison, Neb., 10-0

120: Dalton Duffield, Okla., Tech drop over Austin Macias, Ill., 14-2

126: Matthew Schmitt, Missouri, Dec. Gabriel Townsell, Illinois, 6-1

132: Taylor LaMont, Utah pinned Dalton Young, Washington, 1:33.

138: Mitchell McKee, Minn., Tech drop on Jarrett Degen, Mont., 13-0

145: Ryan Deakin, Colorado, Dec. Jaron Jensen, Utah, 2-1

152: Griffin Parriott, Minnesota, Dec. Lenny Merkin, NY, 9-2

160: Anthony Mantanona, California, Dec. Max Wohlabaugh, Florida, 8-5

170: Thomas Brackett, Tennessee, v Kamal Bey, Colorado, medically

182: Logan Gruszka, Illinois, Dec. Tony Vezzetti, Illinois, 9-2

195: Haydn Maley, Oregon, tech crash Isaac Bartel, 14-2

220: Sam Shields-Colbray, Oregon, tech drop on Jeffrey Allen, Va., 13-2

285: Brandon Metz, ND, pinned Thomas Helton, Illinois, 0:28.


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Robert J. King