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OU at Reno TOC: #19 Oklahoma – 1st Place (174.5 Pts)

The Sooners competed at Reno with a full lineup and then some, and finished first ahead of fellow Big 12 teams Wyoming and Utah Valley. There were also schools with not full lineups including Oklahoma State, Oregon State, and Arizona State. OU had eight in the finals with four champs, plus four other wrestlers that made the podium. With so much competition, here’s my biggest takeaways. 

  1. Jared Hill and Tate Picklo appear to win the spots. 

Jared Hill had a solid year last year, but has been battling with blue chip recruit John Wiley this year. Neither wrestler has truly had a breakout win this season, and the Sooners are looking for someone to step up and get in the rankings. Wiley had a solid win over Cam Robinson, a transfer to Grand View after spending time at Iowa State. He took a close loss to Oregon State’s Isaiah Crosby, who was a NJCAA national champ two years ago. He also lost to Sloan Swan of Wyoming, a true freshman. Wiley ended up finishing 4th on the podium. Meanwhile Jared Hill won the weight, including wins over both Crosby, Swan, and Wyoming’s typical starter Cooper Voorhees. If Hill can start to turn a corner and get more consistent, he should be able to get back to the national tournament. 

Picklo and Nijenhuis both made the finals at 174lbs, where Picklo got the 4-1 decision. Neither wrestler scored any big wins, so the head to head remains the biggest result. The Sooners are still looking for consistency at this weight, and on paper have two wrestlers with the ability to do it. If they can start getting wins in duals at this weight, that would be a big boon for the team. 

  1. KJ Evans impresses as a true freshman. 

The #54 overall recruit in the class of 2023, Evans came away with the title at 141lbs. He got a solid win in the finals over 2022 qualifier Haiden Drury for Utah Valley. Evans is now 9-1 on the season…

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