|2007 AAU Grand Nationals|
On Tuesday, June 28, Program Director/Coach Brian Orndorff, along with Coaches Chris Shea and Cole Orndorff, had the honor of taking 5 Guthrie Wrestlers, along with 2 Oklahoma City wrestlers to Butte, Montana to compete in the 2007 AAU Grand National Championships. The group left Guthrie at 7:30 on Tuesday morning, and arrived in Butte at 8:00 on Wednesday morning. Although the team did not eat on the trip, each wrestler had gained 4 pounds due to the difference in elevation. The Oklahoma group visited the Butte YMCA, and exercised on and off throughout the day. The wrestlers weighed in Wednesday night, all making their desired weight without incident. After that the team went directly to Wendy's, where each wrestler had a triple with cheese, fries, and a Chocolate Frosty!
On Thursday, the Oklahoma team was a stand out. The Greco-Roman competition ended with all Oklahoma wrestlers placing in the top 7, and leading in team points. Your Guthrie wrestlers finish as follows: Brian Orndorff - Master 165 - 2nd; Chris Shea - Senior 174 - 1st; Cole Orndorff - Elite 140 - 1st; Corey Cummings - Elite 130 - 7th; Reggie Dunn - Novice 85 - 4th.
"Greco-Roman is our strong suit, so I expected great results. Despite torn patellar ligaments in the left knee of myself, and the fact that Cole Orndorff separated his ribs from his sternum in his first match, we excelled throughout the first day," stated Brian Orndorff, "Impressively, Cole (Orndorff) worked through the pain to win his first National Championship."
On Friday, the Oklahoma wrestlers performed moderately well, but not at the level expected. The Freestyle competition finished with 5 of the 7 wrestlers placing in the top 7.
Brian Orndorff stated, "I was disappointed with how tired the entire team seemed to be. The elevation was really a factor in many of our matches, and we were extremely tired and beat up from the first day of wrestling. We decided as a team that we would go directly to bed after the tournament, to see if we could re-energize for the last day of competition.
On Saturday, as Orndorff had predicted, the rest had done a great deal not only for the energy level of the wrestlers, but for the morale of the entire team. The Folkstyle competition ended with all wrestlers placing in the top 8.
Orndorff commented, "Due to the injuries, both myself and Cole Orndorff had to medical default before the end of the competition. Chris Shea had hurt his left knee, and the rest of the team was extremely battered and bruised, but everyone did what they could, placed, and kept the team points up. Reggie Dunn had to really step up just to place, and that is exactly what he did. These wrestlers will provide strong teams for our schools, and as a result we will likely start to see some of them as High School State Collegiate placers in the future."
In addition, the team finished in a strong team point lead to win the National Championship team trophy for small clubs (less than 20 members). The group received literally hundreds of great compliments from other coaches, parents and wrestlers during and after the tournament.
"We were very pleased with the comments concerning our team's appearance, attitude, discipline and most importantly, wrestling. This group of athletes is a wonderful representative of the City of Guthrie, and of Guthrie wrestling," stated Brian Orndorff.
"Bluejay Pride would like to thank each and every business and citizen of Guthrie for generously giving to these young athletes for this trip," said Orndorff. Enough money was raised this year to cover the entire cost of the Montana trip for nearly all of the athletes. The group, along with 3 additional Guthrie wrestlers and 7 other wrestlers from around the state, will be pushing hard to raise enough to cover the cost of the World Championships on June 27.