By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Charles Page High School junior Blake Sargent has spent the last two days in York, Pennsylvania wrestling with Team Oklahoma at the Cadet Dual Nationals, and he's ran up quite the record. The Greco-Roman tournament came to an end Thursday, and the Freestyle bracket will begin Friday morning.
Sargent finished his sophomore year with a 39-12 record and placed third in the State Championship. Since then, he's won the Team Big Freestyle Tournament and came in Runner-Up in the OKUSA Freestyle State Tournament in Cushing.
Oklahoma was pitted against North Carolina in the first round of pool play and devastated their opponents, giving up only one match for a 73-5 victory, the third-largest win of any team in the tournament. Sargent kicked things off with the first match of the dual and pinned his opponent in the first period. North Carolina Greco State Runner-Up Phifer Ozimek went down in 2:11, setting the tone for the rest of the dual. Team Oklahoma won the next thirteen straight matches with nothing but pins and tech falls.
The next dual wasn't quite as big of a blowout as the first, but it was a clear and dominating victory, nonetheless. The Okies won twelve of seventeen matches over Florida for a final score of 55-25. Sargent put the icing on the cake, pinning Florida Greco State Champion Emauni Smithson in 1:27 for the final match of the dual.
Oklahoma finally met its match in the Pool A finals. Minnesota Storm raced off to a quick advantage with four-straight victories before Oklahoma evened it out with four of their own. The back and forth affair continued right down to the end, but Minnesota got the 39-33 edge. Sargent remained undefeated with a close 12-8 decision over Northern Plains Regional Champion Sebas Swiggum. Minnesota Storm would go on to sweep the entire tournament.
Thursday morning the Oklahoma team began battling in the Gold/Silver Pool against far tougher teams than their earlier opponents. Sargent teched his first opponent, Illinois Greco State Champion Jared Head (not to be confused with the Owasso wrestler of the same name) 11-1, but Illinois won the dual 48-27.
The Okies were in for another defeat in round two as Pennsylvania Blue won nine of seventeen matches for a narrow 44-31 victory. Sargent would lose his first match of the tournament in an 11-1 tech fall to 2015 USAW National Champion Beau Bartlett.
From there Reece Witcraft filled in at the 126 weight for the duration of the tournament. Sargent finished with an overall record of 4-1. Oklahoma rebounded from the pair of tough losses with a 41-35 victory over New Jersey Red and secured the fifth place spot with a 42-33 win over Washington.
The Freestyle Dual Nationals will begin Friday morning against New Jersey Blue. Last week, in the Schoolboy Dual Nationals, Team Oklahoma placed ninth in Greco and improved to seventh in Freestyle. Sand Springs's Carter Young went undefeated in both styles at that tournament and achieved All-American status.