By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Oklahoma Outlaws got off to a great start at the 2016 Junior Dual Nationals Wednesday morning. In the first round of pool play they dominated Team Georgia 68-2, winning every match. Their next opponent would be far tougher, but the home team still got the win 38-30.
The first match was a slow starter as State Champion Jacob Butler (Elgin) and Cary Palmer seemed fairly matched, but midway through the second period Butler got the tech fall with a massive bomb.
Pennsylvania responded quickly as Wyatt Long went the distance for a 4-2 upset over State Champion Jaxen Gilmore of Yukon. The Keystone State boasted an impressive roster of Nationally ranked wrestlers, but that didn't intimidate Brik Filippo. The State Champion from Tuttle took a small 1-0 lead over No.6 Sam Sasso into the second half and won the match with a 6-1 decision.
Sand Springs junior Payton Scott had a tough match in Will Kaldes and barely led at the half, but a pair of suplexes helped him to a 15-5 tech fall shortly before the end of the match.
Pennsylvania pulled off a big win as No.17 Trent Hidlay scored a 10-0 tech fall over Jaryn Curry, a State Champion from Choctaw. No.12 Eric Hong followed it up with a 10-0 tech over State Champion Nick Mahan (Lawton) and Pennsylvania took the lead 13-12.
It looked like Oklahoma would find its feet in State Champ Dan Baker (Sulphur) as he took an 8-0 lead over Anthony Welch, but the Pennsylvania wrestler caught up Baker in a surprising 3:52 pin for the upset.
Edmond's State Champion Zach Marcheselli received a forfeit at 195 and the Okies trailed 18-17. Zane Black bombed Tanner Hawkins (Weatherford) for a 5-0 lead midway through the first period and wrapped it up 11-1 with seventeen seconds left before the half.
State Runner-Up Gage Johnson (Norman North) finally got the Outlaws back on track, leading Brendan Furman 7-0 at the half and finishing with a 13-2 tech fall with 37 seconds remaining. Southern Plains Regional Champ Alex Fields (Guthrie) received a forfeit and the Okies were back in the lead at 27-23.
No.16 Nationally-ranked Jaret Lane worked over State Champ Wyatt Adams (Lawton MacArthur) for a 12-0 tech fall in 1:58 to tie the dual up. Alec McDoulett (Little Axe) fell into an early 6-0 hole against Northeast Regional Champ Ryan Green, but put in work for a 10-8 decision with two matches left.
Fargo National Champion Dalton Duffield, of Westmoore, kept the dual alive with a 12-1 tech fall over Northeast Regional Champ Zurich Storm midway through the first period and State Champion Jet Taylor (Sallisaw) finished things off with a 15-2 tech over Brandon Bach to seal the deal.
Up next for Oklahoma will be a Pool D finals bout with Iowa. The Hawkeye State steamrolled Utah 60-7 in the first round and beat out North Dakota Blue 39-28 in the semis. Last year Oklahoma handed Iowa a solid 42-25 defeat on their way to a fourth-place finish nationally, but a lot can change in a year.
Iowa is seeded slightly ahead of Oklahoma and boasts three nationally-ranked wrestlers.