Two of Edmond’s grapplers took home the state’s top prize after winning the 113- and 138-pound brackets on Saturday night at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.
Edmond Memorial’s Cruz Aguilar completed an undefeated state championship season with a second-period pin-fall victory against Choctaw’s Speedy Walden. Meanwhile, Deer Creek’s 138-pounder Cade Manion earned his state title on a third-period pin of Broken Arrow’s Jared Hill.
The victory was Manion’s second pin of the weekend after he dropped Enid’s Trinit Zweifel in the second period of Manion’s opening, quarterfinal match. He’d later survive a 1-0 decision win over Mustang’s Keegan Luton to qualify for Saturday night’s state title bout.
Aguilar’s move to Saturday’s finals looked similar to his Deer Creek counterpart. He’d get a matching, second-period pin in his opening quarterfinal match against Edmond North’s Aiden Godbehere. Then a decision win — albeit, a technical, short-ending one — came calling in Aguilar’s second match. He’d beat Putnam City’s Kalib Nolan 19-3 just south of a full three periods of time to qualify for the 6 p.m. finals session.
Memorial came close to having a second state champion Saturday in the 145-pound bracket. Memorial’s Jackson Oplotnik used a quarterfinal, 6-2 decision and pin-fall semifinal win to move into the finals Saturday. He’d meet Mustang’s defending state champion John Wiley there. Oplotnik had bested Wiley by a point in last weekend’s regional championships, but Wiley and Oplotnik went into a sudden victory period after the pair were tied at 3 through regulation.
There, Wiley was able to get a slim advantage on a takedown-scrum to earn his second straight state championship.
Aguilar’s victory and Oplotnik’s runner-up finish weren’t the only podium grabs for Memorial this weekend: Bam West picked up a third-place finish at 138-pounds. He’d use three decision wins to pick up his victories on a 15-4 differential. His sole loss came to state runner-up Hill in the semifinal round.
Garrett Johnson also saw the podium for a fourth-place finish. He bested Norman North’s Hayden Brown 5-2 to qualify for Saturday’s third-place match before falling 4-2 to Broken Arrow’s Bryce Cockrell.
The finishes saw Memorial place fifth overall in the tournament, the best out of any Edmond-area school.
Deer Creek was just five points behind in sixth, though. Jason Gilbert wrestled for a state championship in the 120-pound 6A bracket, but he fell to Mustang’s 46-win wrestler Tucker Owens. Gilbert qualified for Saturday’s finals on a 14-2 point differential through his quarterfinal and semifinal victories against Hayden Brown (10-0) and Edmond North’s Nate Becker (4-2).
Hudson Neeley and Micah Lugafet each picked up fourth-place finals for the Antlers, too. Neeley took two consolation-decision victories to move into Saturday’s third-place match before a medical forfeit saw him finish in fourth; Lugafet won his quarterfinal match over Edmond Memorial’s Eli Cordy 8-3 before Lugafet saw another decision win in the consolation semifinals. Lugafet fell on a one-point, 4-3 decision against Edmond North’s Jaxon Randall in the weight’s third-place match.
North’s Randall got there after wrestling to victories in four of his five matches this weekend. He’d take a 9-4 decision over Sapulpa’s Simon Young to start his tournament, before falling on a single-point, 5-4 loss in the quarterfinals.
Then came three in a row: A sudden-death, 5-3 victory over Cordy in consolation round 1; a 4-3 tie-breaking win against Broken Arrow’s William Martin; then another close, one-point win against Lugafet in the third-place-deciding brawl.
Randall was one of just two placers for North this weekend. North’s Gabe Mullaney tied Randalls third-place finish at 195. Mullaney fell in his opening, quarterfinal round, but he’d survive a 12-11 decision in the first round of consolation. Then he’d pin Choctaw’s Cory Monroe before capping the weekend off with an 8-4 decision win over Union’s Jake Rogers in the third-place bout.