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#GrecoMonday: Seven wrestlers taking Olympic Redshirts

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | Oct. 21, 2019, 6:06 p.m. (ET)

Photo of Mason Manville competing at the 2017 World Championships 

The wrestlers listed below have qualified for and confirmed (or do not appear on their team's roster) that they are taking Olympic Redshirts to focus on Greco-Roman. Of note, six of the seven wrestlers on this list will be competing at the U23 World Championships next week.

Mason Manville (Penn State)

Manville is the only wrestler on this list to have already made a Senior World Team and is also the only wrestler not competing in the U23 World Championships. In 2017, Manville finished 16th at the Senior World Championships at 75 kg. Additionally, Manville is a 2014 Youth Olympic Games silver medalist in Greco-Roman and a 2014 Cadet men’s freestyle World champion. With two-time National champion Vincenzo Joseph slotted at 165 and 2017 National champion Mark Hall at 174 for the Nittany Lions, it makes sense from a team perspective for the would-be redshirt sophomore to focus on his Olympic aspirations.

Brady Koontz (Ohio State)

Koontz is currently No. 2 on the National Team at 55 kg behind Max Nowry, who finished fifth at the 2019 World Championships. The lowest Olympic weight class is 60 kg, so Koontz will spend at least some of his Olympic redshirt adjusting to a new weight class. Koontz will compete next week at the U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, still at 55 kg. Koontz was a member of the 2015 Cadet World Team and the 2018 Junior World Team.

Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley)

Taylor LaMont has been prolific at the age-group level, and is currently No. 3 at 60 kg on the National Team. LaMont will represent the U.S. at the U23 World Championships on his seventh-straight age-group World Team. LaMont competed in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Cadet World Championships and the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Junior World Championships. LaMont’s best finish to date was a bronze at the 2016 Junior World Championships. He also placed fifth at the 2017 Junior World Championships and the 2015 Cadet World Championships.

Andrew Berreyesa (Cornell)

Andrew Berreyesa took silver at the 2018 Junior World Championships at 82 kg. That makes him the highest World medalist (in Greco-Roman) in this group. Berreysa wrestled at 165 pounds for Cornell last season, so it would seem reasonable for him to drop to 77 kg (169.75 pounds) for the Olympic year. However, he will compete at 82 kg for the U23 World Championships next week.

Peyton Omania (Michigan State)

Omania has been a staple on the age-group Greco scene. He was a member of the 2016 Cadet World Team and the 2018 Junior World Team. This year, he doubled up and made the Junior World Team and the U23 World Team. While he won’t compete at U23 Worlds until next week, he took bronze at 67 kg at the Junior World Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, in August.

Lenny Merkin (Princeton)

The U23 World Championships will be Merkin’s first experience wrestling at a World Championship but not his first experience wrestling on international soil. He is a 2018 Junior Pan American champion at 72 kg and a 2017 Junior Pan American bronze medalist at 66 kg. In 2019, Merkin took fourth at the U.S. Senior Open and the Dave Schultz Memorial International. He was a runner-up at the 2018 Junior World Team Trials. For 2020, Merkin will either need to move up to 77 kg or down to 67 kg.

Matthew Finesilver (Duke)

Finesilver is another wrestler making his World debut at U23s next week. He is a 2017 Maccabiah Games champion in freestyle and placed third in Greco-Roman. Finesilver actually placed fourth at 79 kg in men’s freestyle at the 2019 Senior U.S. Open, so he could potentially be using this Olympic Redshirt to train both styles. Finesilver will compete at 87 kg at the U23 World Championships.