By Brody Feldmann
It is tough to travel to Fargo, North Dakota, and bring back hardware from the Fargodome. That is exactly what the Mustang wrestling program accomplished last week.
The best wrestlers from 46 states traveled to Fargo to compete in nationals looking to achieve a lifetime goal of becoming a national champion.
“It was quite a week. Time does not exist in Fargo; there is nothing but the Fargodome,” said Mustang’s head coach Brian Picklo. “It is just wrestling from the crack of dawn until night then you get down to weight and then wake up and do it all again. It is a pretty unique tournament, to say the least, but, yeah, we had some pretty substantial success with John and Tate.”
Mustang’s Tate Picklo won a championship in Freestyle and John Wiley had his chance in Greco.
To go along with Tate’s national champion status, he also finished third at 152-pounds in Greco.
“It was visibly noticeable that everyone was coming out and trying to take a piece of that national championship with them. That is the first time that Tate has been in that situation, and I think that he handled it well,” said Brian.
Wiley fought his way all the way to the national championship at the 120-pound weight class in Greco but came up short of the national title.
“Overall I thought John wrestled really well. This was his first time to Fargo, and he really responded well in Greco,” said Brian.
Cameron Picklo advanced all the way to the consolation round of eight before falling to an Illinois wrestler 0-3 to finish his week. Cameron lost in the Greco to the eventual national champion and third place finisher.
“His style has always been Greco. Well he happened to have the kid that won Fargo in the quarterfinals; that kid placed seventh in the world,” said Brian. “The only two kids he lost to were first and fourth place. I thought he wrestled a great tournament beside from being outmatched from the kid who won it from Oregon.”
Jack Kitchingham finished the week with a lone victory in each of the Freestyle and Greco tournaments.
“He won one match per style. The learning curve is steep at that level, and there isn’t an easy match won there,” coach said. “For him, it is a matter of what it’s going to take to compete at that level.”
Tucker Owens traveled and competed in the Freestyle tournament before sitting out the Greco tournament ailing from an injury he has been battling for some time now.
“He has been nursing this injury for a little while,” Brian said. “The kid is tough as nails and he wanted to wrestle, but it was clearly preventing him from being the Tucker that I know.”
Obviously, Mustang and Team Oklahoma were excited about the success that they encountered in North Dakota. But, they are also ready to get back on the mat and learn from their losses, so they will be better prepared next go around.