Picklo leads Mustang to first dual state title
ENID — Tate Picklo was clearly trying to avoid putting pressure on his left knee during his match against Bixby’s Jersey Robb in the Class 6A dual state finals.
Picklo had to forfeit against Robb two weeks earlier in the state tournament championship after re-injuring his kneecap, and there was still plenty of discomfort for the Mustang senior.
“I’ve had to change my game plan to where I don’t use that leg nearly at all,” Picklo said. “I was wrestling a lot more laid back, on my knees a little bit. Just trying to not use that leg.”
Picklo fought through the pain and beat Robb by two points. The 195-pound OU signee also helped Mustang make school history.
The Broncos beat Bixby 45-22 Saturday afternoon at Stride Bank Center for their first-ever dual state title. Mustang defeated Edmond North 35-24 in the semifinals earlier in the day and posted a 63-18 victory against Choctaw in the quarterfinals.
Picklo, who is set to have surgery later this month, announced on Twitter shortly after the state tournament his season was over because of the injury.
But Picklo’s desire to win a dual state championship lingered. He made his return in the semifinals and pinned Edmond North’s Gabe Mullaney after 3 minutes and 31 seconds of action.
“Just knowing we had a shot and we were going to be this close, I knew it was something I wanted to do,” he said. “Even though it was going to be painful, I just had to put the team first.”
Air Force signee and 120-pounder Tucker Owens gave Mustang the first six points of the dual against Bixby. He pinned Gavin Turley 15 seconds into the match.
Mustang had eight winners after Owens. That list includes Keegan Luton (145), Bam West (152), John Wiley (160), Brannigan Reyes (182), Picklo (195), Jack Kitchingham (220), Christian Rowland (285) and Kylar Kurtz (106), who won by forfeit.
“It’s something we’ve been searching for, for four years,” Picklo said. “My freshman through junior year, getting second three years in a row was something that was always devastating to be that close.”
Picklo’s dad, Mustang coach Brian Picklo, was emotional after the win.
The Broncos dedicated their season to former mat maid Marissa Murrow, who died at age 19 in a head-on car collision in October. Her parents were at the dual.
Each Mustang wrestler wore a shirt in honor of Murrow.
“She was like a mother to these guys,” Brian Picklo said. “She was amazing, was awesome. We made these shirts for her.”