Altus High School’s Gage Gomez was the best wrestler in Oklahoma at the 126-pound weight division in Class 5A wrestling this season. He has the 126-pound state championship to prove it and a 41-5 record and Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State selection to back it up.
He went from a small 98-pound state qualifier in the 106-pound weight division as a freshman to a two-time state runner-up his sophomore and junior seasons, but his ultimate goal was to win the state championship and claim the title as one of Oklahoma’s best wrestlers.
“Winning state felt great. It was something I wanted to do my whole high school career,” Gomez said. “My teammates and my family pushed me to be my best. I just had to win. I could not get second again.”
Despite facing some of the toughest competitors of his career, Gomez did just that.
His state title win came over Coweta’s Reece Witcraft by pinfall in 3:26 and with the win, he shed the title of runner-up for state champion for the first time in his career.
The win also cemented his legacy as one of the best Bulldog wrestlers of all time.
In addition, Gomez’s name will be listed next to his father’s — Neno Gomez — on a space on the wall reserved for former state champions in the Bulldog wrestling room.
“It is something I have always wanted to do since I was a little kid,” Gomez said. “I was always looking at that wall when I went to practice with the older kids and hopefully my brother Kobi will be on that wall soon.”
Now Gomez turns his attention to the All-State competition at Bixby High School scheduled for 7 p.m. July 26.
Only 52 wrestlers were selected to All-State in Oklahoma.
The field is broken up by small and large schools with 13 wrestlers competing for each squad in the East and West.
In the Large West where Gomez will be competing alongside fellow Bulldog Keegan Pride, Altus accounts for two of the 13 selected wrestlers.
“I’m excited. I’m taking a little break for now but I’ll be back to working out soon to get ready for the competition,” Gomez said. “It means a lot to me because I get to represent my school and my town against the best Oklahoma has to offer.”
His mother Chanda Gomez could not be more excited for her son.
“Being selected for All-State is an incredible honor,” Chanda Gomez said. “It has ended Gage’s high school wrestling career on a perfect note.”
His high school career may have lasted only four years but Gomez has been wrestling since he was a child. It is one of the things that made him one of the best in the sport.
Gomez recently was named Vype Magazine’s Wrestler of the Year in southwest Oklahoma, the Bar-S Character Counts Athlete, and one of the Top 100 wrestlers in Oklahoma.
Gomez hopes to move on after high school and wrestle in college.
If it happens, he will be one of a select few Bulldog wrestlers who have taken their talents to a much bigger stage but the sky is the limit.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.