2007 AAU Grand Nationals

On Tuesday, June 18, State Director/Coach Brian Orndorff, along with Coaches Chris Shea and Mark Ward, and student coach Cole Orndorff, had the honor of taking 7 Oklahoma 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.

"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. 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 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 state of Oklahoma, and of Oklahoma wrestling," stated Brian Orndorff.

Team Oklahoma would like to thank each and every business and citizen of Oklahoma 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 team will be pushing hard to raise enough to cover the cost of the World Championships on June 27.

Results for the competition are as follows:

Name From Div. Wt. GR FS CO
Mark Ward OKC Masters HWT 2nd 2nd 1st
Brian Orndorff Guthrie Masters 165 2nd 3rd 3rd
Chris Shea Guthrie Seniors 174 1st 1st 2nd
Cole Orndorff Guthrie Elite 140 1st 4th 6th
Corey Cummings Guthrie Elite 130 7th 7th 8th
James Ward OKC Schoolboy 120 5th DQ 3rd
Reggie Dunn Guthrie Novice 85 4th NP 5th

Access the Photo link on any page to view all of our 2007 Grand Nationals photos