Westleyan University of Oklahoma wrestling program continues to rise, garners votes in national poll
Less than five years ago, Oklahoma Wesleyan University kicked off its wrestling program from scratch.
Last week, the Eagles made their way into the national spotlight by winning four votes in the NAIA Wrestling Coaches Top 25 poll.
The Eagles didn’t garner enough backing to make it into the Top 25, but they did fill the âOthers Receiving Votesâ list – a big big step.
âIt’s good to see the guys being recognized,â said OKWU head coach Thomas Carr.
âI hope they get excited about it. But, we have a lot of work to do. We have to keep pushing.
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OKWU wrestling fans will have the opportunity to see their grapplers in action on Tuesday, when the OKWU hosts a home tournament.
The action starts at 1 p.m.
The OKWU roster has several household names, including veterans Chad Sakamoto and Dailen Presgrove, both of whom were named Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Week last season.
A new star on the team is 197-pound freshman Josh Cortez from Gilroy, Calif.
In mid-December, Gilroy won the OKWU’s inaugural KCAC Male Wrestler of the Week recognition.
âHe’s really talented,â Carr said. “He’s a sponge who wants to learn as much as he can.”
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Gilroy hails from the California preseason wrestling ranks, which are extremely grueling compared to most other states. In California, the state competition begins with groups of 64 players. Gilroy was third in his weight class.
Austin Daniels and Ridge Smith are some of the other team leaders.
Carr highlighted an Eagles run just before Christmas – beating Friends, York and Bethany – to set a solid tone for the Eagles’ schedule.
âWe’re starting to make some progress, but it’s slower than I would like,â said Carr. âThe guys are doing a good job.
He praised the consistency of his team in training.
This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: A look at Oklahoma Wesleyan wrestling program