14 Rogers County wrestlers place at OSSAA State Championships

Feb. 27—Grassroots toughness was on full display from several Rogers County grapplers over the weekend in Oklahoma City.

Fourteen local combatants placed at the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association State Championships at historic Jim Norick Arena — also known as the State Fair Arena — with two winning state championships in their respective weight divisions while another two earned silver medals as seven claimed bronze and three placed fourth.

Claremore junior Cooper Zickerfoose highlighted the list, finishing his season with an undefeated record of 38-0 to win the Class 5A 165-pound championship. He defeated Kade Edmonds of Pryor via a 9-2 decision in the quarterfinals before taking down Carl Albert's Layton Leavitt via pinfall in 5 minutes, 42 seconds.

In the championship match, Zickefoose topped Skylar Red Elk of MacArthur with a 10-4 decision.

Catoosa's Mason Burnham claimed a state title as well, winning the Class 4A 113-pound division. He won by a 4-3 decision over Liam Russell of Harrah in the quarterfinals and followed with a 4-1 decision over Fort Gibson's David Farmer in the semifinals.

Burnham then took down Cooper Jackson of Tuttle in the finals, taking a 5-2 decision to win the championship and finish the season with a 34-4 record.

Inola's Gavin Miller also competed in 113, placing third. Miller lost his first match to Farmer via pinfall in 5:49, but he bounced back with a 4-3 decision over Russell, an 8-6 sudden victory over Jagen Jones of Skiatook and a pinfall over Sulphur's Landon Jones in 5:04 to make the podium.

Claremore had four other placers, led by Mason Gillispie's second-place finish in the Class 5A 120-pound division.

Gillispie dominated his first two matches with a 56-second pinfall victory over Jackson Willingham of Sapulpa and a 7-3 decision over Elgin's Brice Martin before falling to undefeated Beric Jordan of Noble by technical fall in the championship.

Elsewhere, Gunner Murray and Cameron Braswell both took third in their weight divisions.

Murray opened the Class 5A 126-pound tournament with a pinfall victory over Duncan's Bryson Burton in 1:14 but fell to eventual champion Canon Acklin of Collinsville via a 2-1 decision in the semifinals. However, he bested Noble's Daniel Prior with a pinfall in four minutes to win the bronze medal.

Braswell wrestled in the Class 5A 215-pound tournament, taking down Eden Silvan of Will Rogers via a 5-4 decision before falling to MacArthur's Trae Kibble in a heartbreaking tiebreaker in the semifinals. He went on to defeat Cord Coffee of Ada via a 5-2 decision in the third-place match.

Thanks to Zickefoose, Gillispie, Murray and Braswell, the Zebras finished sixth of 25 schools in the Class 5A team standings with 67 points. Elgin won the team championship with 95.5 points.

Claremore also had a placer in the girls tournament, with Paige Webster taking fourth in the Class 6A 235-pound division. She won her wrestle-in matchup against Elgin's Taniya Reid-Harris via a 2-0 decision, but Azreal Smith of Union pinned her in 3:37 the following round.

Webster then advanced past Newcastle's Aundrea Estrada thanks to a medical forfeit before pinning Sorrell Hurd of Del City in 4:11 in the consolation semifinals. She fell to Union's Smith again in the third-place match via a pinfall in 4:11.

Besides Burnham's championship win, Catoosa had four other placers. Three of those — Tucker Collinsworth, Tranel Love and Shaylee Kelly — were third-place finishers.

Collinsworth wrestled in the Class 4A 132-pound division, taking down Trenton Bell of Fort Gibson via sudden victory before losing to Cache's Logan Crawford via a 3-2 decision in the semifinals. He beat Bode Wilson of Tuttle via a 7-5 decision in the third-place match.

Love started in the wrestle-in round of the Class 4A 285-pound division, eliminating Clinton's Layden Fuller with a pinfall in 3:05. He fell to Hayden Miller of Miami in the quarterfinals via a 10-9 decision, but he scored pinfalls over Fort Gibson's Stavro Vafeas and Jace Warren of Tuttle in 2:21 and 2:50, respectively, to claim third place.

With those performances, the Catoosa boys placed fourth among 27 schools in the team standings with 59 points, while rival Oologah took 12th with 23.5 points. Tuttle claimed the state championship with 165.5 points.

Kelly became Catoosa's first female placer in school history, overcoming a first-round loss to Cache's CJ Landry in the Class 5A 110-pound division to win third-consecutive matches. A medical forfeit by Kylie Leal of Elk City sent Kelly to the consolation semifinals, where she topped Mannford's Olivia Hamilton via a 12-0 major decision before moving on to pin Anjelica Morales of Little Axe in 4:23 in the third-place match.

Michael Blendowski was the Indians' other placer, sharing the Class 4A 138-pound bracket with Garrett Salt of Oologah.

Blendowski started in the wrestle-in round with a pinfall victory over Clinton's Vicente Gutierrez in 1:55 before pinning Thomas London of Tuttle in 5:00 in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Salt took a 6-4 decision over Poteau's Jake Fredrickson to set up a collision between the two Rogers County rivals in the semifinals.

Salt got the best of Blendowski in the semifinal bout with a 2-0 decision and went on to take second after dropping a 7-3 decision to Cory Velasquez of Cascia Hall in the championship round. Blendowski bounced back with a sudden victory over Hilldale's Coltyn Majors in the consolation semifinals but ultimately fell to Andy Collier of Cushing via a 5-2 decision in the third-place match.

Garrett Salt's brother, Gavin Salt, earned a medal as well, taking fourth in the Class 4A 190-pound division.

Gavin Salt lost a 1-0 decision to Harrah's Rance Ridley in the first round, but he battled back with a 1-0 decision over Tyler Hockett of Cushing before taking down Jay's Connor Gough via 9-1 major decision in the consolation semifinals. His winning streak ended there, though, as he dropped a 5-3 decision to Witt Edwards of Wagoner in the third-place match.

Piper Morton was Oologah's lone female placer, taking third in the Class 5A 155-pound division.

She toppled Cleveland's Hallie Horine via pinfall in 3:57 in the first round but was pinned herself by Peighton Mullins of Fort Gibson in the semifinals. However, she overcame Comanche's Celina Quezada in the consolation semifinals with a pin in 1:39 before scoring her third pinfall victory of the tournament with another pin of Horine, this time more than two minutes quicker in 1:49.


5A 165 — Cooper Zickefoose, Claremore

4A 113 — Mason Burnham, Catoosa


5A 120 — Mason Gillespie, Claremore

4A 138 — Garrett Salt, Oologah


5A 126 — Gunner Murray, Claremore

5A 215 — Cameron Braswell, Claremore

4A 113 — Gavin Miller, Inola

4A 132 — Tucker Collinsworth, Catoosa

4A 285 — Tranel Love, Catoosa

5A 110 (G) — Shaylee Kelly, Catoosa

5A 155 (G) — Piper Morton, Oologah


4A 138 — Michael Blendowski, Catoosa

4A 190 — Gavin Salt, Oologah

6A 235 (G) — Paige Webster, Claremore