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PIEDMONT REACHES DUAL STATE
Piedmont qualified for the wrestling duals state tournament for the first time in school history Tuesday night with dominant performances over perennial power Cushing (47-15), Mannford (58-15) and Tecumseh (72-4).
“This is a big step for our program,” said third-year Piedmont coach Erik Ford. “We have a young group of kids, only one senior on our roster.”
The Wildcats' lone senior is 145-pounder Shelby Miller, who is 14-3 on the season. Junior Blaine Cult has been Piedmont's most successful wrestler, going 19-1 on the season with the lone loss coming in the first round of the Cushing tournament.
Cult lost that bout when he was called for an illegal slam and his opponent could not continue, Ford said. The 152-pounder rallied to win six consecutive matches to finish third in the tournament.
Cult finished fourth in the state tournament last year and is seeking to become Piedmont's fourth state wrestling champion in school history.
“He is a contender,” Ford said. “I definitely think he is one of those kids in the mix.”
No. 7 Piedmont is 7-1 in duals, losing only to Yukon in the first dual of the season. The Wildcats will join top-ranked Tuttle at the 4A duals state tournament in Cushing on Feb. 7.
Tuttle also won its district Tuesday night to qualify to state. Eight teams advance in each class to the duals state tournaments.
Before the 4A duals state tourney, the Tigers and Piedmont will meet in a dual in Tuttle on Jan. 31. On Friday and Saturday, the Wildcats are wrestling in the 35th annual Piedmont Invitational, which includes Del City, Ardmore, Bristow, Blanchard, Lexington, Heritage Hall, Davis and other teams.
By Scott Wright, Ryan Aber and Ed Godfrey
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