By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Oklahoma Outlaws got off to a rough start Thursday morning at the Greco-Roman Junior National Duals. After going undefeated in day one, the Okies went down 35-32 to California in a hotly contested battle that wasn't decided till the final match. The Gold may be out of reach for Oklahoma now, but the scrappy team proved their hearts are still in it with a stellar 36-30 victory over Florida in round two.
State Champion Nick Mahan (Lawton) started the dual off with a 19-9 tech fall over Mikall Fundora, State Champ Dan Baker (Sulphur) came out on the winning end of a high-scoring 15-11 decision over Josiah Gittman, and State Champ Bear Hughes (Coweta) dominated Fidel Lara with a 13-0 tech fall for an 11-2 lead.
Florida finally picked up their first win with a 13-2 tech fall by Darius Hamilton over Tanner Hawkins. Broken Arrow's Trenton Lieurance went the distance for a 4-2 decision over Kyron Taylor, then Florida went on a run.
Jacob Cochran won an 18-10 decision over Alex Fields (Guthrie), Elijah Varona teched Wyatt Adams (MacArthur) 12-0, and Malyke Hines picked up a 20-10 tech fall over Alec McDoulett (Little Axe).
National Champion Dalton Duffield (Westmoore) quickly handled Luis Hernandez with a 0:42 pin. Jet Taylor (Sallisaw) went down 11-0 to Jordan Marshall. State Champion Jacob Butler (Elgin) won a 7-1 decision over Marcus Abreu and State Champ Jaxen Gilmore (Yukon) teched Demetrius Anderson 11-0.
Brik Filippo, a State Champ from Tuttle, put up a valiant effort against nationally ranked No. 16 Anthony Artalona but went down in a 6-1 decision.
With a 30-26 lead and two matches left, Sand Springs's Payton Scott had the chance to clinch the dual, and the pressure was on. The next match would be Ezequiel Rubio (Ponca City) as a heavy underdog against Max Wohlabaugh, who just won the Cadet Greco-Roman National Title in Akron three weeks ago. The Sandite didn't disappoint, and pinned Christian Febus in 3:39 to put the victory just out of reach for Florida. Wohlabaugh won his match 11-1, but Oklahoma won the dual 36-30.
Up next for Oklahoma is the undefeated top-seeded Minnesota Blue team. Minnesota features nationally ranked No. 11 Jake Allar, No. 11 Taylor Venz, No. 12 Lucas Jeske, and No. 13 Owen Webster.