By Chuck Reherman
After an up and down season, Yukon did need something good to happen when the Millers competed in the class 6A west regionals,
The Millers did that by sending six wrestlers to the state tournament.
Yukon had three regional runner-ups, one consolation champion and two others that finished fifth and will have to earn their way into the bracket in the wrestle-in match when the Class 6A State Wrestling Championships gets underway Friday at the Ron Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.
The wrestle-in matches begin at 9:30 a.m. and first round matches will start at 11 a.m.
Cooper Mahaffey at 113, Nate Hahn at 170, Corbin Gordon at 220 all earned runner-up spots, while Lane Parks won the consolation title at 285.
Jonah Hanscom at 120 and Connor Columbus at 195 will compete in the wrestle-in matches.
“We have six in and one more guy on the bubble,” Miller head coach Joe Schneider said. “I always think that sixth place guy has a chance, you never know who might roll and ankle or miss on grades.
“We had peaks and valleys in the regionals,” he said. “We beat some guys we weren’t suppose to beat, but lost some that maybe we had a chance to win. We go into the tournament with a 0-0 record and everyone is on an equal playing field. Anything can happen in a state tournament, we have seen that in a state tournament year after year.”
Mahaffey, 31-6, will face Gabe Fontanez, 34-14, of Stillwater in the opening round at 113. Hahn, 27-11, will face William McGrew, 23-8, of Jenks, Gordon, 33-11, drew Isaac Gibson, 12-8, of Bixby and Parks, 28-8, faces Marlon Welky, 25-6 of Broken Arrow.
Hanscom will wrestle Christian Kaiser of Bixby in the wrestle-in match. Columbus will face Sango Whitehorn of Sand Springs in his wrestle-in match.
One of the biggest upets of the regionals came in the 170-pound semifinals where Hahn pulled off a 9-6 decision over Choctaw’s Zeke Coleman. Coleman came into the match with a 40-3 record.
“That was a good win, catching a guy that already beat us,” Schneider said. “That guy was seeded above us and we had to go out and earn our spot.
“That was the second time we had wrestled the Southmoore kid in the finals (the two wrestled in the COAC finals),” he said. “We got taken to our back right away and had to change our style of wrestling to fight back. We didn’t give up and continued to hit moves. He was a great addition to our team.”
Hahn lost to Anthony Macias by a 13-5 major decision in the finals. Hehad beaten Jonathan Gordon of Putnam City West by fall in 1:18 and decisioned Ethan Ooten of Edmond North 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Mahaffey lost to Cruz Aguilar by a 17-4 major decision in the 113-pound finals.
Mahaffey had reached the finals with a 7-4 decision over Speedy Walten of Choctaw. He opened the tournament with a 10-0 win over Brody Barnes of Norman North. He scored a 13-4 major decision over Quavi Paoli of Lawton 13-4 in the quarterfinals.
Gordon qualified after he finished second at 220, losing to Mustang’s Judson Rowland by fall in 2:56.
Gordon had reached the finals with a 3-2 win over Christian Cantu of Edmond North. He beat Alan Miranda of Capitol Hill by fall in 19 seconds in the opening round and pinned Hudson Jones of Putnam City in 33 seconds.
Parks took the consolation title by pinning David Steiger of Southmoore in 27 seconds in the third place match.
Parks had lost to Christian Rowland of Mustang by fall in 23 seconds in the semifinals, but came back to get into the third place match by pinning Jordan Iwuchukwu of Edmond North in 1:38.
Parks had pinned Alex Legg of Norman in 2:45 after receiving a first round bye.
“I had not wrestled (Steiger) before, I had practiced with him at team camp, but we have not met in a match,” Parks said. “I knew he was agile and liked to shoot in and block. I knew he wasn’t very good upper body and that is where I had to take the fight to.
“I figured it would take a little longer than it did, but I would like to go out and pin everyone that fast,” he said. “I felt like I wrestled good. I didn’t open up offensively until the last couple of matches and will have to improve on that at state.”
Hanscom won his fifth place match 8-3 over Garrett Weaver and went 4-2 in the tournament. Coliumbus lost to Gabe Mullaney of Edmond North by a 3-0 decision.