By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Oklahoma Outlaws put up a tough fight, but lost back-to-back duals for a sixth place finish Thursday evening at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa. The USA Wrestling Junior Greco-Roman Dual Nationals featured thirty-four teams from twenty-six states and drew nearly 600 of the best wrestlers in the nation. Last year the Oklahoma Greco team included two Sandites in Kyler Childers and Cody Karstetter, and placed fifth overall. This year Payton Scott was the lone Charles Page student to compete in Greco.
Team Oklahoma got off to a fast start against Team Georgia Blue Wednesday morning and won every weight for a 68-2 finish. Read that story here.
Next to go down was a scrappy team from Pennsylvania who put up a tough battle but ultimately fell 38-30. Read that story here.
In the Pool D finals, Oklahoma pulled off a surprisingly easy 41-29 upset over the top-seeded team from Iowa. Read that story here.
Day two was far tougher for the Outlaws as they faced off against the toughest teams in the nation in the Gold/Silver Pool. Their dominating win streak came to an end at the hands of California in a fiercely contested battle that wasn't decided till the final match. Read that story here.
Scott had the honor of clinching the win in the next dual, however, as the Okies edged out Florida 36-30. Read that story here.
The final two duals would not be as kind to Oklahoma, however, as they lost to Minnesota Blue and Michigan Blue back-to-back.
Trenton Lieurance, Wyatt Adams, Jet Taylor, Jacob Butler, and Jaxen Gilmore all won their matches against Minnesota, but the home team lost 43-22 to the eventual National Champions. Oklahoma can take some solace in the fact that they didn't lose by any more than the eventual Runners-Up from Illinois. Both teams lost by 21 points.
Lieurance won a 9-2 decision over Trenton Rogich, Adams teched Minnesota State Champ Ashton Clark 10-0, and Taylor teched Curtis LeMair 10-0. Butler pulled off a huge 12-10 upset decision over Brent Jones, who placed third at last year's Fargo Nationals. Probably the biggest win went to Jaxen Gilmore who pinned Cadet National Runner-Up Calvin Germinaro in 1:45.
Scott lost his match by 10-0 tech fall to Southern Plains Regional Champion Travis Ostby. Alec McDoulett put up a great performance against nationally ranked No. 9 Patrick McKee that ended in a close 16-15 decision. Bear Hughes also went the distance for a 14-10 decision to Nationally ranked No. 11 Taylor Venz.
In the placement match against Michigan Blue, the Okies were noticeably drained after a long day of brutal competition. Dalton Duffield defeated Michigan State Champion Jordan Hamdan with a 16-5 tech fall. Butler finished out the tournament undefeated after holding off Central Regional Champion Nick Freeman for a 3-0 decision. Butler was the only Oklahoma wrestler to go undefeated. Brik Filippo won a 12-0 tech fall over Trent Lashuay and Jaryn Curry pinned Dustin Gross in 1:54. Dan Baker went the distance against Nationally ranked No. 11 Jelani Embree for a 15-8 loss.
After placing sixth in the country, the Oklahoma team earned All-American status for the third straight year.
Friday morning will begin the Freestyle Dual tournament in which Team Oklahoma is the back-to-back defending National Champions. Thirty-nine teams will be competing, including two from Oklahoma. Riley Weir and Daton Fix will be representing Sand Springs on the Oklahoma Blue team.
OK Blue is the fifth-highest seeded team in the tournament, behind California, Illinois, Iowa Red, and New Jersey, but boasts an impressive roster of nationally ranked wrestlers. Paxton Rosen is ranked 12th in the nation, Fix is ranked second, Kaden Gfeller is ranked fourth, and Wyatt Sheets is ranked 11th. Up first for team Blue is South Dakota at 9:00 am, followed by Texas Blue immediately after.