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OCU Earns Pair of All Americans

Oklahoma City University (OCU) sent six wrestlers to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship tournament. The Stars finished the tournament tied for 16th as a team with 30 points. The Stars also had two athletes make the podium to finish with All American status.

Cade Manion led OCU with a stellar 5th place finish. Manion opened his tournament with a 5-1 decision victory in the opening round of the 141 pound bracket, followed by a matching 5-1 decision in the second round. Manion suffered a setback in the quarterfinal round with a hard fought 1-4 defeat in sudden victory, but bounced back with a pinfall victory in his opening consolation round match, which happened to be the tournament’s blood round, so this victory secured Manion’s status on the podium. Manion was not finished there, as he would win his next consolation match with an 11-0 major decision to secure his spot in the top 6, guaranteeing he would finish above his number 7 seed. Manion would come up short in the consolation semifinal round, but proved to be resilient to the very end by bouncing back, yet again, and picking up a pinfall in the 5th place match to finish in that spot for the tournament.

Not far behind Manion was 149 pounder, Drake Vannoy. Vannoy started the tournament with a pinfall victory in the first round, then won with some fireworks in round 2 in an 18-16 decision victory. After suffering a setback against the number 1 seed in the quarterfinal round, Vannoy also fell to the blood round to start his consolation run, where he picked up a first period pinfall victory to secure his All American spot. Vannoy also came up a bit short in his fifth match, but he, too, showed some serious grit to bounce back and finish his season with a win to place 7th in the national tournament.

Keegan Luton represented the Stars at 157 pounds, and had a tough tournament. After scoring a 19-5 major decision in the first round, Luton suffered his first defeat, in a brutal marathon match that went all the way…

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