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Why is ex-Hawkeye Brent Metcalf so dominant now?

By Andy Hamilton
Des Moines Register

Given an ultimatum and forced to choose only one style of wrestling, Brent Metcalf would have considered bypassing college and all of the glory he experienced at Iowa.

“If I had a choice growing up, I would’ve done the Pico route,” the two-time NCAA champion said this week, referring to California prep phenom Aaron Pico, who five months ago announced he was skipping college and his last three high school seasons to gear his training toward the 2016 Olympics. “I would’ve dropped out of high school to wrestle freestyle.”

After a brief pause, Metcalf continued: “Not really, because I had aspirations to do things in college and high school, but I loved freestyle more. If you made me do one or the other, I would’ve done freestyle because I loved it that much, it was fun.”

In the past 14 months, freestyle wrestling for Metcalf has evolved from a source of frustration back into the sport he fell in love with as a teenager in Michigan. It’s fun again for the 27-year-old, who is aiming this week in Madison, Wis., to make the U.S. World Team for the third time.

By virtue of winning U.S. Open championships in April, Metcalf and Iowa State product Jake Varner, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, earned automatic passes to the best-of-three championship series.

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