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Quarterfinals voting underway in 50th Junior Nationals Greco-Roman fantasy bracket; help choose the semifinalists

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

The round of 16 has been completed in USA Wrestling’s interactive 32-athlete bracket featuring the best Greco-Roman Junior Freestyle competitors of the last 50 years of the Junior Nationals, with the quarterfinals set and voting underway.

This voting is based upon their Junior National freestyle careers only, and should not reflect their successes in Greco-Roman, nor how well they did in college and the international levels.

Round of 16 results

Sam Henson (MO) dec. Taylor LaMont (UT), 70%-30%

Adam Coon (MI) dec. T.J. Hill (MO), 84%-16%

Justin Ruiz (UT) dec. Steve Knight (IA), 78%-22%

Brent Metcalf (MI) dec. Kendrick Sanders (FL), 55%-45%

Andre Metzger (MI) dec. Pat Lynch (NJ), 72%-28%

Garrett Lowney (WI) dec. Kenny Cox (OR), 76%-24%

Brandon Paulson (MN) dec. Sean Hage (GA), 78%-22%

Dennis Hall (WI) dec. Matt Nagel (MN), 82%-18%

This sets up a competitive quarterfinals, with voting starting today (July 1) and running for the four days.

Quarterfinal pairings, with number of Junior National freestyle titles

Sam Henson (MO, 2x) vs. Adam Coon (MI, 3x)

Justin Ruiz (UT, 2x) vs. Brent Metcalf (MI, 3x)

Andre Metzger (MI, 3x) vs. Garrett Lowney (WI, 2x)

Brandon Paulson (MN, 2x) vs. Dennis Hall (WI, 3x)

50th Junior Greco-Roman Nationals - Fantasy Bracket

Notes after the round of 16:

* Michigan leads the list of states with quarterfinalists in the bracket with three, all who were three-time Junior Greco-Roman champions: Andrey Metzger from the 1970’s, Brent Metcalf from the 2000’s and Adam Coon from the 2010’s.

* Wisconsin has a pair of quarterfinalists: Garrett Lowney and Dennis Hall. Other states with quarterfinalists are Missouri (Sam Henson), Utah (Justin Ruiz) and Minnesota (Brandon Paulson)

* The closest round of 16 battle was between a pair of three-time champions, Brent Metcalf of Michigan and Kendrick Sanders of Florida. Metcalf scored 55%, while Sanders received 45%. In their Senior-level careers, Sanders has competed in Greco-Roman, while Metcalf wrestled in freestyle.

* Metcalf was the only of the two six-time Junior Nationals champion to make the quarterfinals. He won three in freestyle and three in Greco-Roman. The other six-timer, Sean Hage of Georgia, was beaten in the round of 16 by Brandon Paulson of Minnesota.

* Four Olympic medalists have reached the quarterfinals. 2016 Olympic Greco-Roman silver medalists Dennis Hall and Brandon Paulson have advanced, as did 2000 Olympic Greco-Roman bronze medalist Garrett Lowney, and 2000 Olympic freestyle silver medalist Sam Henson.

* Of the eight quarterfinalists, six have won Senior World medals. Those with Greco-Roman World medals are Adam Coon, Justin Ruiz, Garrett Lowney, Brandon Paulson and Dennis Hall. Winning a freestyle World medal was Henson. Hall and Henson were Senior World champions.

* The quarterfinal match between good friends Dennis Hall and Brandon Paulson brings back memories of their finals series at the 2004 Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, Ind. They competed at 55 kg. The championship series went three matches, with the final match going overtime, lasting almost 17 minutes, when Hall scored to win. Many believe this may have been the best Olympic Trials Greco-Roman series of all time.

Here are the quarterfinal wrestlers in alphabetical order, with their state affiliation and the years they won Junior men’s freestyle national titles.

Adam Coon, Michigan (2011, 2012, 2013)

Dennis Hall, Wisconsin (1987, 1988, 1989)

Sam Henson, Missouri (1987, 1988)

Garrett Lowney, Wisconsin (1997, 1998)

Brent Metcalf, Michigan (2003, 2004, 2005)

Andre Metzger, Michigan (1976, 1977, 1978)

Brandon Paulson, Minnesota (1989, 1992)

Justin Ruiz, Utah (1997. 1998)

The rest of the voting schedule follows:

• Voting on the Quarterfinals will begin on Friday, July 1

• Voting on the Semifinals will begin on Tuesday, July 5

• Voting on the Finals will begin on Saturday, July 9

The first USA Wrestling Junior Nationals was held in the Fieldhouse at the University of Iowa in 1971, and contested only in men’s freestyle. Greco-Roman was added in 1972. With the 2020 event cancelled due to the pandemic, this year’s version will be the 50th time our nation’s best high school Greco-Roman wrestlers have come together to battle for national titles and All-American honors. Numerous World and Olympic champions and medalists have competed in this prestigious event.

The 2022 USA Wrestling USMC Junior and 16U National Championships will be held at the FargoDome in Fargo, N.D., July 16-22, with competition in men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle.


50th Junior Greco-Roman Nationals - Fantasy Bracket

When you click, you will see the bracket. To vote, click the “Cast Vote Now” button on the top of the bracket. You will be taken to a screen where you see each pairing and you can click a box to vote on the winner. You must enter your email to vote.