2020 Domestic Rankings - Greco-Roman
Significant movement is the order of the day at 87, where Alan Vera leaps over Jon Anderson, Patrick Martinez, and Joe Rau to take over the top spot. Vera is not the top-ranked guy because he defeated Rau on Friday; he is the top-ranked guy because he has beaten Rau twice dating back to January 2019, and both of those wins were dominant. A “relevant head-to-head” as observed in our rankings is one that has transpired within a reasonably recent time-frame, and when both athletes were deemed healthy and suitable for competition -- which describes the circumstances under which both Vera/Rau bouts were contested. Were both athletes in peak condition on Friday? Likely far from it. But they knew that going in. They also knew that this match was virtually unavoidable. Hypothetical intangibles, whether positive or negative for one athlete or both, are thus duly ignored.
Rau’s Illinois RTC teammate and ‘19 Junior World Team member Zach Braunagel fell in his first match of the tournament against Trent Munoz -- but then proceeded to run the table on the bracket’s backside to finish third. He now bumps his way into the top-15, as does ‘13 World Team Trials runner-up Marcus Finau, who also recovered from an early-round defeat only to wind up gunning for bronze (Braunagel decisioned Finau).
The rankings stretching to top-15 sees Braunagel and Finau slide in just under JD Souza and Dillon Cowan of the Army, which also drops Marine Vaughn Monreal-Berner from #12 to #15.
Transparency Report: The ‘20 Nationals -- for everyone -- was obviously an event held under unique circumstances. Wrestlers from military programs were not permitted to compete, and many top athletes chose not to enter due to a variety of reasons, be it travel restrictions, lack of adequate training, dissatisfaction with the event’s place on the calendar -- or in some cases, the absence of prize money and procedural incentives.
Because of this, an effort was made not to penalize those who decided to sit out of the tournament. This is not to say that all athletes who declined to participate kept their prior ranking. In several weight categories, there are athletes who dropped a spot or two. One in particular was ‘18 US National Team member David Tate Orndorff, who competed in Iowa but bypassed Greco in favor of freestyle. And given their results, some wrestlers have deservedly moved up in their respective weight classes. Such is how rankings operate.
At the same time, one fortuitous byproduct of the encouraging amount of participation was that it now allows for rankings to go from #1 to #15, which was the original objective for this endeavor upon conception.
For a full overview on how the ranking system works, please view this article.
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