2006 AAU Grand Nationals

On Wednesday, June 28, State Director/Coach Brian Orndorff, along with Coaches Chris Shea, Randy Ledford, Brad Roney, Jack Hornbuckle and Mark Ward, had the privilege of taking 22 Oklahoma wrestlers to Omaha, Nebraska to compete in the 2006 AAU Grand National Championships. The wrestlers weighed in Wednesday night in hopes of becoming the National Champion in each of the 3 disciplines of wrestling.

On Thursday, the 16 Oklahoma wrestlers who competed shined, showing their superior balance and strength, and the Greco-Roman competition ended with all Oklahoma wrestlers placing in the top 8.

"Myself and Coach White are known for our focus on Greco-Roman, and for implementing it into Freestyle and Collegiate, so I expected results in Greco, and the wrestlers knew it. Despite injuries to one knee of Chris Shea, one knee of Cole Orndorff, and to my own shoulder, we dominated the mat all of the first day, which actually put us in the running for a state team trophy," stated Brian Orndorff. "I don't know if the other states were impressed, or if they were disgusted, since we were the second smallest state team entry at the competition. Hawaii was the smallest. "

On Friday, the Oklahoma wrestlers again performed at a level that Orndorff describes as "well beyond what they have shown us at practice and other competitions this year", and the Freestyle competition finished with all but 2 Oklahoma wrestlers placing in the top 8.

Brian Orndorff stated, "I was amazed with the level of performance these wrestlers displayed on Friday. With the injuries to wrestlers from the previous day, and the additional injury to the shoulder of Sean Woodard, I thought our team score was doomed, but we held on and kept ourselves in the top 3. The injured wrestlers really dug deep within themselves to continue. Unfortunately, I was sure that 4 injured wrestlers in collegiate would seal our fate.

On Saturday, as Orndorff had predicted, the Folkstyle competition ended with less success. It was, however, not as bad as he expected. All Oklahoma wrestlers but 3 placed in Folkstyle.

Orndorff commented, "Even with the injuries forcing myself, Shea, Cole Orndorff, and Woodard into injury default before completing the competition, everyone still stepped up and fought through the pain to get our team points up. We ended up placing 3rd as a state team with 22 wrestlers. That is amazing, considering the teams that beat us had over 150 wrestlers, and the team right behind us had just under 150 wrestlers. It is also wonderful that these wrestlers are excelling in the 2 Olympic styles. As long as they continue to improve there, they will naturally improve in Collegiate. These wrestlers will provide strong teams for our State 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 was invited to attend a tour to wrestle in several states next summer, with the first competition being held in Hawaii. "Everyone was so impressed with the performance of these wrestlers," stated Orndorff. "We were offered the trip with assistance for lodging and some transportation. The biggest fee for us will be the plane tickets to Hawaii, and then back to Montana. We will be pressing hard to raise money this entire year, and ask that anyone that can help contact me at 405-503-1626." In addition to placing donors on the website and team banner, donors of $500 or more will also be placed on the team uniforms.

The team has also received some assistance via contacts made at the tournament. "We were very fortunate to make an alliance with a representative from Brute/Adidas, and as a result we will have new team singlets available for Team Oklahoma next year," stated Orndorff. "This is a great asset, as the wrestlers who compete with Team Oklahoma need several red and several blue singlets to compete for a few consecutive days."

"Team Oklahoma would like to thank each and every business and citizen of Oklahoma for generously giving to these young athletes this summer," said Orndorff. Enough money was raised this year to cover the entire cost of the Nebraska trip for all Bluejay Pride wrestlers, and to assist with the costs for the other state team coaches and wrestlers.

Results for the competition are as follows:

Name From Div. Wt. GR FS CO
Brian Orndorff Guthrie Masters 165 1st 2nd 4th
Stephen Plunk Porter Masters 157 1st 2nd 2nd
Jack Hornbuckle Poteau Masters 141 NA 1st 2nd
Chris Shea Guthrie Elite 171 2nd 4th NP
Tommy Rogers Poteau Elite 152 NA NP 5th
Shawn Ledford Pawnee Elite 140 2nd 7th 4th
John Kane Guthrie Cadet 189 1st 3rd 3rd
Cole Orndorff Guthrie Cadet 130 3rd 5th 4th
Ryan Crowden Poteau Cadet 112 NA 8th 8th
Zach Tankersly Poteau Cadet 103 NA 5th 7th
Sean Woodard Guthrie Schoolboy 140 7th 6th 8th
James Ward Del City Schoolboy 115 5th 8th 8th
Greg Smith Poteau Schoolboy 95 NA NP 8th
Mason Williams Okla. City Schoolboy 95 8th 8th NP
Christian Roney Mustang Novice 80 6th 6th 6th
Braden Crawford Guthrie Midget 80 4th 4th 5th
Madison Roney Mustang Midget 55 4th 3rd 7th
Shortie Stewart Guthrie Bantam 55 4th 6th 8th
Paxton Rosen Edmond Bantam 45 NA 1st 1st
Logan Chappell Piedmont Bantam 45 3rd 6th NP
Jaxson Roney Mustang Bantam 45 2nd 5th 5th
Collin Plunk Porter Tot 35 1st 1st 2nd

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