By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Oklahome Outlaws got off to a great start Friday morning at the Junior Freestyle Duals, but saw their shot at threepeating for the Title fall short. The back-to-back defending National Champions had no problem blowing past South Dakota 55-11, Iowa Blue 52-17, and Utah Blue 47-18, but met their match in the top-seeded Minnesota Red team.
Beginning at 106 pounds, Oklahoma went on a run in the low weights taking a 16-1 lead with wins from Wyatt Adams, Colt Newton, Dalton Duffield, and Daton Fix. Minnesota battled back, however, as Brent Jones teched Jacob Butler 13-2 and Mitchell Mckee won a huge victory in taking down nationally ranked No. 4 Kaden Gfeller with a 7-4 decision. Alex Crowe also overcame one of Oklahoma’s biggest contenders in a 4-3 decision over Beau Guffey.
Jaryn Curry broke up the win streak with a 12-2 tech fall over Ryan Epps, but Minnesota got right back on the horse with a huge 11-7 win over Wyatt Sheets from Jake Allar. Lucas Jeske got the upper end of a 24-20 shootout with Dayton Garrett, Taylor Venz teched Bear Hughes 12-2, Owen Webster teched Zach Marcheselli 14-3, and Keegan Moore teched Gunner Cash 10-0.
Trenton Lieurance won a 4-4 decision over Sam Erckenbrack, but Matthew Peterson finished up the battle for Minnesota with a 13-2 tech fall over Riley Weir and Oklahoma was defeated 35-31.
In the first round of the Gold/Silver pool, the Outlaws were trumped once again, this time by Illinois.
Louie Hayes won a high-scoring 16-12 decision over Jet Taylor to start the dual. Duffield took the lead for Oklahoma with a 12-1 tech over Travis Piotrowski and Fix added to it with a 10-0 defeat of Gabriel Townsell.
Illinois surged right back to the top with a 7-2 decision from Jaime Hernandez over Jaxen Gilmore and A.J. Jaffe teched Guffey 10-0. Wyatt Sheets took down Shayne Oster 10-10 to reclaim the one-point lead but Illinois went on a run with wins over Curry, Baker, Marcheselli, Matt Smith, and Gage Johnson. With the dual clinched, Illinois forfeited the final three weights for a 37-31 victory.