MOORE — Hayden Hansen remembers what happened to him at state last year. As a sophomore, the Norman North grappler fell in the title match 5-4.
Hansen has used the pain of that loss to propel him throughout the season. That carried over into this weekend where he used it Saturday to win the 6A-West Regional Championship at Southmoore.
“It runs through my mind almost everyday,” Hansen said of his defeat at state. “It propels me. I like the pressure. I like stuff like that. It makes me wrestle better, gets me excited. The bigger the match, the better.”
In the finals, Hansen (41-1) faced Jordan Prince of Edmond North. The two were tied 4-4 going into the third period. Hansen got a reversal with 1:10 left to take a two-point advantage.
That was all he needed. He rode Prince out the rest of the period to secure the 6-4 victory.
“The key was just getting into my offense, scoring at all times and looking to put things away,” Hansen said. “I knew it would be a tough ride. I knew what to look for when I was on top. Just do a safe ride.”
Edmond North easily won the overall team championship with 258 points. Yukon was second with 186. North (143), Mustang (133), Southmoore (132) and Norman High (97) rounded out the top-six.
The Timberwolves had hoped to see Hansen’s teammate, Levi Berry, also take home a first-place medal when he took on another Edmond North grappler in Zach Walton.
Berry trailed 2-1 heading into third before he gave up a quick two points and found himself down 4-1 to Walton.
Berry got an escape with 1:25 left to close to within two. He then took Walton down and the match was tied at 4-4 with momentum on Berry’s side.
But Walton got an escape with 42 seconds left in the period. Berry couldn’t come up with a takedown and lost 5-4.