Roberts, much older & wiser, meets Hafizov again in Final X
Photo: Dalton Roberts (left) beat Ildar Hafizov at the 2023 U.S. Open...
By Rob Sherrill
Might as well hand Oklahoma stars Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma City Heritage Hall and Daton Fix of Sand Springs Charles Page more Cadet Nationals titles now.
The two were double champions in the Southern Plains Cadet Regional, June 1-4 in Dodge City, Kan., with neither having a match go the distance. Gfeller, who won the 3A state title at 106 pounds with a 28-0 record, scored a 45-second pin over the 4A state champion, fellow freshman Tanner Skidgel of Tulsa Cascia Hall Preparatory, in the freestyle final. He scored technical falls over his first five opponents of the weekend at Dodge City, Kan.
Double champion Fix, who finished 33-0 en route to the 6A title at 113, wasn’t pushed in any of his 10 matches, scoring three pins and seven technical falls. Neither Gfeller nor Fix surrendered a point.
Another 106-pound Sooner State champion was busy, too. Stillwater sophomore Andrew Nieman, who won the 6A title, won the Junior Division title at 113 with three technical falls.
The Junior Division saw its share of stars take the mat, led by senior Jonce Blaylock (145) of Tulsa Berryhill. The two-time 3A state champion scored technical falls in seven of his nine matches to earn a double title, sealing the perfect weekend with an 8-7 victory over three-time Iowa champion Max Thomsen of LaPorte City Union in the freestyle final.
Another great final took place at 132, where two of the state’s top 6A juniors squared off. Keegan Moore of Oklahoma City Putnam City, who lost 4-3 to Junior National finalist Kaid Brock of Stillwater — yet another junior — in the state final at 132, held off two-time champion Boo Lewallen of Yukon, 11-9. Lewallen had prevailed in a loaded 126-pound class at state.
The University of Oklahoma-bound Dixon triplets, Lance (182), Joel (195) and Andrew (220), all advanced to the Junior freestyle finals, with Lance and Joel taking titles. Also taking Junior freestyle titles: junior Joe Smith (152) of Stillwater, a two-time state champion, and four-time Arkansas champion Tyler Mann (160) of Little Rock Central.