MIDWEST CITY — Guthrie proved Saturday it has one of the best Class 5A programs in the metro as it won the Malcolm Wade Memorial Tournament at Carl Albert.
The Bluejays had six wrestlers win individual titles as they finished ahead of second-place El Reno and Carl Albert in the team standings.
Guthrie qualified for the dual state tournament last season for the first time in 28 years and just the third in school history. The Bluejays have built on that, and expectations are high.
“I think we finally kind of let people know that we are actually here for the long haul in 5A,” Guthrie coach Jadon Davenport said.
Guthrie had wrestlers in both the boys and girls divisions who shined Saturday.
Khaleah Kirk (120 pounds) and her brother, Eli (120), were both crowned champions. The Bluejays’ other four wrestlers who claimed titles were Braden Hall (138), Coal Madison (195), Hayden Simpson (220) and Riley Boyster (285).
Sophomore Klaribel Kirk (100), the younger sister of Khaleah and Eli, rebroke her thumb during the tournament but expects to be back in the next couple of weeks.
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“They’re phenomenal wrestlers,” Davenport said of the Kirk siblings. “Eli is one of the top guys at 120 this year, and he’s going to be competing for a state title. Khaleah is one of the top girls at 120 in the country. She’s ranked 20th in the country, and she goes out and battles.
“And then Klaribel, she’s an animal. She’s one of the top girls at 100. Both the girls are returning runner-ups from last year, and they lost some heartbreaking matches in the finals, but they’re out here to return.”
Khaleah went 18-1 last year and was the 118-pound runner-up. Eli placed third in the 113-pound division at the state tournament. Both are now juniors.
Davenport was impressed with how the duo and his entire lineup competed at the tournament.
“We couldn’t have wrestled any better,” he said. “We were physical in our hand fights and we pushed the pace and we wrestled some tough, tough competition.”
Carl Albert’s Kasen Miller claims 126-pound crown
Carl Albert sophomore Kasen Miller was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler for the lower weights after winning the 126-pound championship.
His finish helped the Titans place third in the team standings. Miller placed third at the invitational last year before taking fourth at 113 pounds at the state tournament.
“It just feels great improving from last year,” he said.
Miller’s top goal for his sophomore season is still in the works. It’s pretty straightforward.
“To be a state champ,” he said.
El Reno a team to watch
El Reno won 11 consecutive state titles between 1996-2006, but those are the only championships for the program.
With coach Tyrone Lewis — a former El Reno and Oklahoma State standout — leading the way, the Indians are looking to change that.
El Reno placed second at Carl Albert’s tournament and is coming off a fourth-place finish at the 2021 state tournament.
The Indians will be among the top contenders to knock off 5A powerhouse Collinsville, which has won state tournament titles in 10 of the last 11 seasons.
Reporter Nick Sardis covers high school sports across the Oklahoma City metro and state. Have a story idea for Nick? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @nick_sardis. Support Nick’s work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at oklahoman.com/subscribe or by using the link at the top of this page.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OSSAA wrestling: Guthrie wins Malcolm Wade Memorial Tournament