Oklahoma pulled off the big upset at the Junior National Duals before coming up just short in its pursuit of a Greco-Roman national title.
The Sooner State fell to Michigan Blue 36-29 in the Greco-Roman championship at Oklahoma City University’s Freede Center on Thursday.
Michigan won nine of the 15 matches with five bonus-point victories.
“I’m really proud of the way the kids bought in, fought, and competed for this Greco title,” said coach Tony Cook. “We definitely made a statement for the state. This is more of a freestyle wrestling state, but our goal is to make it more a complete wrestling state. Good wrestlers find ways to win no matter what the style is and we got that from these kids.”
Oklahoma advanced to the championship with a 34-32 victory over three-time defending Greco-Roman champion Illinois.
Edmond North’s Dixon triplets, who have signed to wrestle at OU next season, led the way in the upset win. Andrew opened the dual with a pin over Sage Hecox at 220 pounds. Lance also picked up a pin 13 matches later at 182 pounds, setting up Joel’s dual-clinching 10-4 win over Andrew Marsden at 195 pounds.
Stillwater’s Chandler Rogers also had an 11-0 technical fall win at 170 pounds as Oklahoma closed out the dual with three consecutive wins.
“It was a great thrill to come out with the win over Illinois,” Cook said. “It was very exciting to see the kids compete that hard and to the enjoyment they had pulling out a big win. It was a nail-biting dual right to the end.
“We knew it was going to be tough going into those last three matches, because they still had tough guys, but when you’re closing out a dual with two of the Dixons and Rogers you feel pretty good about it.”
Oklahoma also defeated Florida 52-18 and Iowa 52-13 earlier on Thursday. Illinois defeated Minnesota Blue 35-26 in the third-place dual.
Stillwater’s Kaid Brock (126 pounds) led Oklahoma in wins during the Greco-Roman competition, going 7-0. Brock is a two-time state champion who is verbally committed to Oklahoma State heading into his senior season. Andrew Dixon also went 7-0, receiving two wins by forfeit.
Oklahoma will now shift its focus to freestyle, the state’s traditionally stronger style, for Friday and Saturday’s action.