|2008 AAU Grand Nationals|
This past June, Program Director/Coach Brian Orndorff, along with Guthrie Coach Tim Mundell and other state team coaches Leo Bailey, Willy McDoulett and Jeff Snapp, embarked on the long journey or traveling to Castle Rock, Colorado with 5 Guthrie Wrestlers, 6 Del City wrestlers, 4 Catoosa wrestlers, 2 Putnam City wrestlers, 1 Crescent wrestler, 1 Deer Creek wrestler and 1 Clinton wrestler to compete in the 2008 AAU Grand National Championships. The group arrived in Castle Rock late on a Wednesday afternoon and checked into their hotel. They spent the remainder of the afternoon in a local gym running and lifting weights, then all wrestlers made weight that evening and headed straight for a restaurant. In an effort to maintain wrestling weight, the team did not eat or snack during travel.
On Thursday morning, the Oklahoma team was aggressive and successful. The Greco-Roman competition ended with all but 2 of the 20 Oklahoma wrestlers placing in the top 8. The Guthrie and Crescent wrestlers finished as follows: Caleb Savill - Midget 60 - 7th; Seth Thomason - Midget 80 - 1st; Jacob Wiens - Novice HWT - 1st; Reggie Dunn - Schoolboy 105 - 8th; David Sade - Master 149 - 1st; Tim Mundell - Master HWT - 2nd. Overall the state team earned 5 firsts, 6 seconds, 2 thirds, 1 fourth, 2 fifths, 1 seventh and 1 eighth.
"Our Oklahoma Team is generally exceptionally strong in the Greco-Roman discipline, however, this year I had a very limited amount of time to spend with the state team, and I am the Greco coach. I was very pleased with the results, especially from Logan County members," stated Guthrie and State Team Director Brian Orndorff.
On Friday, the Oklahoma wrestlers performed at a level that several of the coaches referred to as "unacceptable", but still fared well enough, placing 19 of the 20 in the top 8. The Guthrie and Crescent wrestlers placed as follows: Caleb Savill - Midget 60 - 8th; Seth Thomason - Midget 80 - 2nd; Jacob Wiens - Novice HWT - 2nd; Reggie Dunn - Schoolboy 105 - 6th; David Sade - Master 149 - 1st; Tim Mundell - Master HWT - 3rd. Overall the state team earned 4 firsts, 3 seconds, 8 thirds, 1 fifth, 1 sixth, and 2 eighths.
Brian Orndorff stated, "Myself and the rest of the coaches were upset with the motivation of the team and the lack of team support we saw at the matches. That evening I held a coaches meeting, and all of the coaches were in agreement that something needed to change. We put all of the wrestlers to bed early, got them up early the next morning, and had a big team heart to heart before competition began on Saturday."
On Saturday, the talk appeared to help the motivation and team support, although the results were still in line with the average for the tournament. The team managed to place all 20 wrestlers in the top 8 on Saturday. The Crescent and Guthrie wrestlers placed as follows: Caleb Savill - Midget 60 - 8th; Seth Thomason - Midget 80 - 3rd; Jacob Wiens - Novice HWT - 2nd; Reggie Dunn - Schoolboy 105 - 7th; David Sade - Master 149 - 4th; Tim Mundell - Master HWT - 3rd. Overall the state team earned 3 firsts, 3 seconds, 6 thirds, 3 fourths, 1 fifth, 2 sevenths, and 2 eighths.
About the overall tournament, Orndorff commented, "This was the largest the tournament has ever been, and both the Logan County wrestlers and the state team still fared extremely well. We are proud of what these athletes have worked to accomplish, and they will all be very strong Junior High and High School wrestlers when they get older. They 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."