The Oklahoman


- —Nick Sardis, Staff writer

The 2023 Oklahoma high school state wrestling tournament is set for Friday and Saturday at State Fair Arena.

The wrestle-in matches, first round consolatio­ns and semifinals will be held Friday.

The remaining consolatio­n matches are scheduled for Saturday. The tournament will end with the championsh­ips, which begin at 6 p.m.

Here are a few storylines and 10 Oklahoma City area wrestlers to watch.

Top storylines Stillwater looks to defend Class 6A title.

The Pioneers claimed their second straight dual state crown earlier this month and are the favorites to win this tournament. They’ve captured two consecutiv­e state tournament crowns and have eight East Regional champions. Tuttle likely to extend streak. The Class 4A Tigers have won a state record 14 straight state tournament titles and will likely make it 15 this weekend. They dominated the East Regional and had eight champions.

Moore among contenders in girls tournament. The Lions have a strong girls wrestling program and are coming off a victory at the West Regional. They finished with 205 points, while Westmoore placed second with 129. Bixby won on the east with 178, and McLoud was the runner-up with 143. This will be the third officially sanctioned girls state tournament in Oklahoma. There is also only one classifica­tion for the girls tournament.

OKC area wrestlers to watch

KJ Evans, Sr., Heritage Hall: An OU signee, Evans is a two-time Class 4A state champion. He won the West Regional crown at 150 pounds last week.

Peyton Hand, Sr., Choctaw: She’s claimed titles in Oklahoma’s two officially sanctioned girls state tournament­s and also won a championsh­ip at the exhibition state tournament as a freshman. Hand is 25-0 this season after winning the West Regional crown at 115 pounds.

Beau Hickman, So., Tuttle: He won the Class 4A West Regional title at 138 pounds and is 41-4.

Cael Hughes, Sr., Stillwater: He’s 34-0 this season and will try to accomplish a rare feat. The 132-pound Oklahoma State signee will try to become the fifth wrestler in state history to finish his high school career undefeated and untied.

Khaleah Kirk, Sr., Guthrie: She’ll try to win her second state title. Kirk, last year’s 120-pound champion, claimed the 125pound West Regional crown last week.

Hannah Lopez, Fr., Moore: She’s the West Regional champion at 105 pounds and takes a 32-1 record into the state tournament.

Holden Martin, Sr., Westmoore: He’s having a stellar season with the Jaguars and is coming off a first-place finish at the Class 6A West Regional in the 175pound division.

Payton Thomas, Sr., Moore: The senior Navy signee is 32-0 this season and won the 190-pound championsh­ip at the Class 6A West Regional.

Ricky Thomas, Jr., Edmond North: He’s been a dominant force this season and takes a 39-2 record in the state tournament after winning the Class 6A West Regional title in the 285-pound division.

Bella Williams, So., Edmond North: She went 25-0 as a freshman and is 37-0 this season. Williams enters the state tournament as the 120-pound West Regional champion.

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