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Perfect ending for Cael Hughes as Stillwater boys claim third straight Class 6A wrestling crown

Hughes finishes Pioneers career with 140-0 record; Tulsa Union repeats as girls state champion
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By Mike Moguin | Photos by Michael Kinney

OKLAHOMA CITY - Stillwater came out on top in wrestling again.

So did Tulsa Union. 

The Pioneers surged out to the lead on day one of the Class 6A Boys Wrestling State Championships before Edmond North moved out in front after the first session on Saturday. But after four finalists came out on top with gold medals in their weight classes, the Pioneers edged the Huskies by one point, 191-190, to win the 6A for a third straight year.

Aydan Thomas (106 pounds), Cael Hughes (132), LaDarion Lockett (157) and Landyn Sommers (165) finished as state champions.

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Hughes also achieved a pair of milestones. He became the 45th wrestler in Oklahoma history to finish his high school career as a four-time state champion and he finished with an unblemished record, 40-0 for the year and 140-0 throughout high school.

Sommers also finished unbeaten throughout the season.

“It’s a tough tournament,” Stillwater coach Ethan Kyle said. “We have three teams who are in the top 20 in the country. There was nowhere to hide.

"We got exposed in a couple of areas and we learned from it and moved on. Thankfully, we did enough to just barely squeak it out.”

The Huskies got titles from Layton Schneider (144), Talon McCallom (175) and Ricky Thomas (285).

Bixby finished third with 147.5 points with four state champions - Gage Walker (126), Jace Roller (138), Clay Giddens-Buttram (150) and Jersey Robb (215). Robb, an Oklahoma State signee, won his third individual state title.

On the girls side, with three pins in the finals and one in the consolation final, Tulsa Union rallied to win the Girls Wrestling State Championship for a second straight year with 63.5 points, edging Bixby and Edmond North, who tied for second with 63.

“This one feels really good, because of what we’ve been through,” Union coach Gerald Harris said. “We didn’t win one tournament. We placed in the top five or 10 many times and only won one or two duals.

"We had a rough year, but all we kept saying was February 25, and that’s (Saturday), and it paid off.”

Hughes 45

In his milestone moment, Hughes won a 4-0 decision against Edmond North’s Hunter Hollingsworth to become the 45th wrestler in the history of Oklahoma wrestling to win four state championships.

An Oklahoma State signee, Hughes got three points in the second period for ride then picked up an escape point in the third. He maintained a hold on Hollingsworth most of the match.

At the awards ceremony, he received the gold medal from his father.

Oklahoma wrestling standout Cael Hughes carries nation's best class ranking into 6A state tournament

“It’s always been a goal of mine,” Hughes said. “I remember in junior high, looking forward to this moment, thinking, ‘I want to be a four-time state champ. I want to be that guy.’

"It was a really special moment for me. I’m grateful for my teammates, my coaches, they really helped make winning possible."

Tulsa Union wins with pins

The pins made by the Tulsa Union girls came from senior Chanelle Alburg (46-4) and junior Kali Hayden (41-1) in the finals and Terrilan Banner (24-3) in the third-place match.

“Without that pin, we don’t win,” Harris said. “I told them every win has to be a pin and they did it.

"Chanelle has a 98 percent pin rate; she has 100 wins and 96 pins, something like that, she’s a pinner. I can count on her. Kali Hayden is No. 2 in the country. I knew she could get the pin, but it wasn’t going to be easy.”

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Bixby was leading the girls tournament Friday with a 1 1/2 point lead against the Lady Redhawks. Earlier in the day, Banner forced the fall to Edmond North’s Alex Ray at just 48 seconds into the consolation final of the 155-bracket.

“Terrilan Banner is a pinning machine,” Harris said, “So I had the right girls in there. They did what I ask them to do.”

When it came time for the championship rounds, Alburg was up 2-1 against Norman North’s Coty Sessions in the 110 final. She made the pin at 4:30.

Hayden then pinned Stacy Nash in the 190 final at 2:13.