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West Fargo wrestler has fitting setting for national title

Brandon Metz of West Fargo celebrates after winning the 220-pound Cadet Greco-Roman championship match against Allen Stallings of Illinois on Monday at the Fargodome. Metz won via a pin with 34 seconds left for the national title. Nick Wagner / The Forum

Fargo, ND - Monday was unlike any other trip to the Fargodome for West Fargo soon-to-be sophomore Brandon Metz.

Metz is a North Dakota State football season-ticket holder, but on Monday the crowd inside the Fargodome was watching him.

Trailing 4-3 with less than a minute to go in the USA Wrestling Cadet Greco-Roman 220-pound national championship match, Metz made his move and made a dream come true.

He slammed Illinois’ Allen Stallings to the ground with less than 40 seconds to go to take the lead and pinned him with 34 seconds to go to claim a national championship.

“What was going through my head was I needed to make one of my key moves and I need a score,” Metz said. “I could usually find a way to find an open throw, and when I found it, I used it.”

Metz has seen wins in the Fargodome, but nothing tops a win of his own. It was Metz’s fifth win of the tournament, four of which came by pin and another that came by an 11-0 technical fall.

The win left Metz unable to stop smiling even with blood all over the green rubber bands of his braces.

“It’s been my dream since I was young to win in the Fargodome in this tournament,” Metz said. “I always wanted to win Fargo. (The Fargodome) is kind of home away from home for me.”

Three from Team Minnesota win titles

Jackson, Minn., native Keegan Moore said he likes to get pushed and anyone who doesn’t won’t last very long.

“You can’t hate (getting pushed) because if you hate it you’re going to lose, and you don’t want to get in those tough matches,” Moore said after notching a 6-5 win for the 182-pound cadet Greco-Roman national championship. “I love getting pushed, so I love getting in those tough matches.”

Utah’s Wyatt Koelling couldn’t have pushed Moore further. Koelling picked up four points on a take down to take a 5-3 lead with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left, but Moore tied it back up 20 seconds later. Moore picked up a point with 1:09 to go and held his ground the rest of the way. He was done getting pushed, especially after falling in the Greco-Roman title match last year.

“The loss left me twisted,” Moore said. “I don’t want that. I don’t want to have that little plaque. I want the big one.”

Moore said it was his toughest match of the season, which included a Class 1A state title that capped off his 48-0 sophomore season at Jackson County Central.

He had a simple solution for what to do in a tight wrestling match.

“Just keep wrestling,” Moore said. “If I would have stopped, he would have scored. That simple.”

With the win, Moore is one title short of the USA Wrestling triple crown. He has the folkstyle national title, the Greco-Roman national title and all that is left is the freestyle title, which will be crowned Friday.

Eight wrestlers entered the semifinals on Wednesday with a chance for a Triple Crown. Only California’s Jaden Enriquez (126 pounds), Wisconsin’s Beau Breske (170 pounds) and Moore ended Monday with the dream still alive.

Jake Allar, of Corcoran, Minn., picked up a national title at 132 pounds with a pin at 5:04 and Owen Webster, of Shakopee, Minn., took home a national title at 160 pounds thanks to a 10-0 technical fall.

Team scores: Illinois 101, Minnesota 57, Wisconsin 47, Ohio 44, California 31, Iowa 29, Oregon 28, Washington 25, Michigan 24, Arizona 22, Kansas 22, Idaho 20, New Jersey 18, Utah 18, Nevada 14, Pennsylvania 14, Texas 14, Missouri 13, Colorado 10, Virginia 9, Montana 8, North Dakota 8, Hawaii 7, North Carolina 7, Indiana 5, Tennessee 5, Connecticut 3, Florida 3, Oklahoma 3, Nebraska 2, South Carolina 1, Alabama 0, Alaska 0, Arkansas 0, Delaware 0, Georgia 0, Kentucky 0, Louisiana 0, Maine 0, Maryland 0, Massachusetts 0, New Mexico 0, New York 0, South Dakota 0, West Virginia 0, Wyoming 0.

88: Trey Keeley, Illinois, dec. Patrick McKee, Minnesota, 12-8.

94: Nicolas Aguilar, California, dec. Brandon Meikel, Utah, 7-2.

100: Roman Bravo-Young, Arizona, pin Dominic Lajoie, Michigan, 4:56.

106: Ian Timmins, Nevada, pin Drew West, Iowa, 3:35.

113: Austin Gomez, Illinois, technical fall Bryce West, Iowa, 18-8.

120: Jaden Enriquez, California, dec. Quentin Hovis, Arizona, 6-2.

132: Jake Allar, Minnesota, pin Jaron Chavez, Idaho, 5:04.

138: Ethan Karsetn, Missouri, dec. Devin Bahr, Wisconsin, 8-3.

145: Matthew Park, Idaho, pin Logan Gruzka, Illinois, 0:57.

152: Riley Jaramillo, Oregon, technical fall Anthony Sherry, Iowa, 11-0.

160: Owen Webster, Minnesota, technical fall James Handwerk, 10-0.

170: Beau Breske, Wisconsin, technical fall Kamal Bey, Illinois, 10-0.

182: Keegan Moore, Minnesota, dec. Wyatt Koelling, Utah, 6-5.

195: Matt Stencel, Ohio, pin Wyatt Harden, Michigan, 0:58.

220: Brandon Metz, North Dakota, pin Allen Stallings, Illinois, 5:26.

285: Kevin Vough, Ohio, dec. Oswaru Odighizuwa, 8-1.

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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