Class 5A state wrestling: Collinsville's Gary Wayne Harding, Will Steltlzen become four-time state champions

Harding and Steltlzen were also part of a fourth straight tournament team title for Collinsville. Including the Cardinals’ four consecutive dual championships, the two finish their high school career with 12 state titles.
by Trent Shadid Published: March 1, 2014


photo - Collinsville's Gary Wayne Harding celebrates his win over  Pryor's Cody Foos in the class 5A 138-pound match during the Oklahoma State wrestling championships at the State Fair Arena, Saturday, March 1. 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Collinsville's Gary Wayne Harding celebrates his win over Pryor's Cody Foos in the class 5A 138-pound match during the Oklahoma State wrestling championships at the State Fair Arena, Saturday, March 1. 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Gary Wayne Harding and Will Steltlzen have spent the last 10 years as workout partners in wrestling.

On Saturday night, all the work they’ve put in together culminated with yet another pair of state titles.

Harding became Oklahoma’s 31st four-time state champion at 138 pounds in Class 5A, and Steltlzen became the 32nd one match later at 145 pounds.

“We made a little bit of history today and we did it together in every way,” Harding said. “Being on the same team and being workout partners since third grade, we’ve made each other better over the years.

“There’s no way we would be four-time champions if we didn’t have each other to make us better along the way. It’s great to share it with someone who has been there with you the whole way.”

Harding capped off his 44-1 season with a 16-0 technical fall over Pryor’s Cody Foos in the finals. The OSU signee was also named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler in Class 5A.

“Getting this done, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Harding said. “I was real nervous coming into the match tonight, but after we slapped hands the nerves just went away and I did my thing.”

Steltlzen earned his fourth title with a 3-1 victory over Tahlequah's Mitch Sellers.

“I’ve always known I have to be at my best during the state tournament and that’s something I’ve focused on,” Steltlzen said. “I lost some close matches this year, but I learned from my mistakes. We know what it takes to get here and do what we do best. That’s how we got it done again.”


by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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