Clayton Giddens places 5th at Flo Nationals

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Sixteen Team Big wrestlers showed up to the 2016 Flo Nationals last weekend at Expo Square Pavilion in Tulsa. The national-caliber junior high event pitted over 2000 wrestlers from more than 40 states against each other in five age divisions. 

Of the sixteen Sand Springs-area athletes, only one managed to place in the tough tournament. Clayton Giddens is a Mannford kid for now, but competes as part of Sand Springs's Team Big wrestling club.

Competing in Division III at 58 pounds, Clayton Giddens drew Illinois Intermediate Freestyle State Champion Dominick Marre (Gomez Wrestling Academy) in the first round, and teched him 15-0. Next up was 5X Virginia Challenge State Champion Noah Nininger (Virginia Elite) who only fared slightly better against the young beast, and went down by 12-0 major decision.

The next match, however, wouldn't be so easy. Luke Lilledahl (Purler Wrestling Academy) defeated our boy by a narrow 4-1 decision. The St. Louis stud is no one to be ashamed of losing to, however. In the last year, Lilledahl has won national titles at both USAW and ASICS, and he went on to take first at Flo also.

Giddens rebounded quickly with a 9-0 major decision over 2015 OKWA Division II State Champion Bryson Humphries, then defeated Minnesota Intermediate State Champion Mason Mills 6-0.

In the consolation semi-finals Giddens was defeated 6-0 by Davis Motyka of Kingston, Pennsylvania, but won the fifth place match over 2016 Cotton Bowl Nationals Champion and 2015 USJOC Runner-Up Eli Biermann of Midlothian, Texas by 9-3 decision. 

Giddens is the 2015 USJOC Division III Champion, OKWA State Championship Runner-Up, Sand Springs Freestyle/Greco Champion, USAOK Broken Arrow Freestyle Champion, OK USA Cushing Freestyle Champion, Owasso Tournament Champion, Sapulpa Tournament Champion, Glenpool Tournament Champion, and SS Team Big Tournament Champion. He also placed third at the Cotton Bowl Nationals, third at the Southern Plains Regional Freestyle Tournament, seventh at the ASICS/USAW Kids Freestyle Nationals, and sixth at the Flo Kickoff Classic.

He's already off to a great start in 2016, taking Runner-Up at the US Junior Open Championships, and first at the Berryhill Tournament. Last year he didn't place at all at the Flo Nationals, so a fifth place finish this year shows the young warrior is already working on an even more impressive resume for the new year.

Other Flo Nationals Team Big results are as follows:

Division I: Ages 6 & Under

49 Jayden Bussell

  • pinned in 0:39 by James Pahl (Olympus Wrestling)
  • defeated Kolby Wickham 6-3
  • pinned in 2:56 by Grey Williams (Lions Den)

Division II: Ages 8 & Under

43 Jaxon Grigsby

  • majored 12-2 by Alex Rodriguez (SOT Academy)
  • defeated 6-0 by Nicholas Garcia (Gomez Wrestling Academy)

55 Hunter Spencer

  • pinned in 1:52 by Manuel Amaro (POWA)
  • defeated 6-0 by Josef Garshnick (Lions Den)

61 Zane Swafford

  • defeated Trent Eck (Team Brawlers) 8-6
  • defeated by 7-2 sudden victory to Sean Stanton (Nebraska Boyz)
  • defeated Tharyn Hausler (Team Tulsa) 6-0
  • defeated 7-2 by Hayden Wright (Yukon Youth Wrestling)

75 Jaxon Trotter

  • defeated 6-2 by Carter Burnett (Wellington Youth WC)
  • defeated Elijah Schunke (Colorado Elite) 4-2
  • defeated 12-6 by Cale McPeek (Team Guthrie)

Division III: Ages 10 & Under

52 Jackson Martin

  • teched 16-0 by Dale OBlia (Pomona Elite)
  • pinned in 2:32 by Javin Douglas (Yukon Youth Wrestling)

52 Michael Johnson

  • defeated Andrew Beeson (Winfield WC) 6-3
  • majored 10-1 by Brandon Morvari (Pinnacle) 
  • defeated Javin Douglas (Yukon Youth Wrestling) 3-1
  • defeated 5-1 by Jacob Bond (Chattooga Indians)

52 Zander Grigsby

  • teched 21-4 by Aydan Thomas (Texas School of Wrestling)
  • defeated Cole Welte (MWC Wrestling Academy) 4-0 
  • majored Hank Kriegler (MWC Wrestling Academy) 8-0
  • pinned in 2:37 by Miles Anderson (Nebraska Boyz)

64 Mitchell Smith

  • pinned Zao Estrada (SOT Academy) in 2:17
  • majored Lane Snyder (Pleasant Hill Youth Wrestling) 14-0
  • pinned in 1:28 by Brady Ison (Contenders Wrestling Academy)
  • defeated 4-0 by Brock Coleman (Greater Heights Wrestling)

110 James Winn

  • pinned in 1:29 by Payton Pierce 
  • defeated 7-0 by Garrett Ritter (Cowboy WC) 

Heavyweight Tyler Smith

  • pinned in 0:16 by Hayden Boyett (Muldrow Bulldog Pride)
  • pinned in 1:28 by Samuel Reynolds (Best Trained Wrestling) 

Division IV: Ages 12 & Under

64 Owen Martin

  • defeated Jason Athey (Dark Knights) by 4-2 sudden victory decision
  • majored 12-0 by Jore Volk (Pinnacle)
  • pinned Caden Holman (Choctaw) in 5:00
  • pinned in 0:30 by Justin Wells (Dethrone)

80 Sammy Naugle

  • teched 18-2 by Drew Lang (Team Legacy) 
  • defeated 6-0 by Jordan Bobier (MWC Wrestling Academy)

84 Ethan Norton

  • pinned in 1:29 by Dominic Hargrove (SOT Academy)
  • pinned in 1:50 by Nicholas Schutz (KWA Bulldogs)

92 Blake Jones

  • pinned in 2:23 by Nic Bouzakis (Team Greco)
  • defeated Logan Adamson (Bettendorf Bulldogs) 5-2
  • defeated 7-2 by Tanner Leonard (Hannibal Youth Wrestling)