“(Fix and Gfeller) are not only representing Oklahoma, but they represented their age group for the United States in the Pan American Games this summer and won some gold medals,” Cook said. “Daton Fix is going to wrestle at the Cadet World Championships this year in Slovakia. Kids like those two don’t come along very often.”
Oklahoma’s strength as a team has traditionally been in freestyle, but Cook expects to compete with the best in both styles this week.
“In the past we’ve taken multiple teams in freestyle and sometimes in Greco,” Cook said. “This year we decided to change things up a little bit with bringing just one team to compete in both styles. We think we can perform a lot better than we have in Greco, which we’ve really never emphasized a whole lot from a team perspective.”
One area of concern for the Oklahoma team is depth. Competing in a dual tournament with teams from California, Minnesota, Michigan, New Jersey, and defending freestyle and Greco-Roman champion Illinois presents a challenge.
“To put things in perspective, there are more schools that offer wrestling in the city of Pittsburgh than in the entire state of Oklahoma,” Cook said. “So we don’t necessarily have the depth of the other states with bigger populations. But I feel like our top tier guys, our state champions can compete with anybody else’s state champions. As far as our tradition and our top guys, we’re second to none.”