It was a good weekend of wrestling for Ardmore, Madill and Sulphur at the Midwestern Conference Tournament, as one Tiger, and two Wildcats and one Bulldog left McLoud High School as conference champions.
Ardmore’s Max Benson won the heavyweight division title in the two-day tournament that started Friday and concluded Saturday.
He was one of five Tigers who placed.
Raphael Interiano and Jordan Whitwell wrestled to third at 126 pounds and 182, respectively, while Mason Henson was fourth at 195 and Michael Case took fourth at 106.
“All the placers wrestled hard and they earned everything they got,” Ardmore coach Kevin Gill said. “I am extremely proud of all of the kids for their effort this weekend.”
The tournament title for Benson comes one year after a knee injury that he sustained one week before the conference tournament. He said that his hardest match was his semifinal bout with a Durant wrestler.
Benson won the match in double overtime. He won the first-place match with a second-period pin over a Blanchard wrestler who was a state qualifier in 2015.
“It showed me that everybody isn’t perfect and that you’ve got to keep working hard,” Benson said. “Getting second, third and fifth was a headache and now finally a winning tournament feels great.”
Prior to this year, Madill had come close to winning the conference title, but had never finished on top of the standings.
That was until Saturday.
Led by first-place finishes by Will Shelby at 126 pounds and Tyler Ramirez at 132, Madill was crowned Midwestern Conference champion for the first time. The Wildcats totaled 225 points.
“It was just real exciting for me personally,” Madill coach Jim Love said. “Madill has wrestled in it since 1979, the first year it had a wrestling team. They have come in second a couple of times. I have been in the conference 33 years, nine in junior high and a head coach for 24 years. This was a total team effort. We’re going to have a victory dinner.”
Shelby was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Wrestling to runner-up finishes for Madill were Ace McHatton (126 pounds) and Austin Williams (182).
Earning bronze for the Wildcats were Damian Ramirez (106), Nick Porter (145) and Colt Crowson (138).
Hunter Cambron placed fourth at heavyweight. Zane Crisp earned a fifth-place finish at 220. Luis Gutierrez and Riley McDaniel were sixth at 106 and 160, respectively.
Sulphur had three placers. Dan Baker was crowned champion at 195 pounds. John Miller took fourth at 113. Eligio Nieves was sixth at 170.