Loving signs to run cross country, wrestle at OCU

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star
Bethel High School's Dez Loving (seated center) signed a letter-of-intent to run cross country and wrestle at Oklahoma City University. Seated with Dez are his parents Shannon Loving (left) and Gary Loving. Standing are Jeremy Stewart, Bethel High School principal and cross country coach; Coach Joey Ginn, Bethel head football coach; Brandon Blizzard, Bethel track and field coach and assistant football coach; Juan York. Tecumseh High School wrestling coach and coach of Dez in youth wrestling. Not pictured are Bethel High School wrestling coach Jason McPhail and Will McDoulett, his OKUSA wrestling coach who is also a Harrah High School wresting coach.

BETHEL ACRES – Bethel High School's Dez Loving, who competed in five sports and placed at state in four, has signed a letter-of-intent to run cross and country and wrestle at Oklahoma City University.

The multi-sport star placed fourth at the Class 3A State Wrestling Tournament at 138 pounds after taking third at regionals in late February. He also claimed ninth place at the 5k Class 3A State Cross Country Championships last fall.

He also had major accomplishments in three other sports. While running cross country, he also played football where he was named District 2A-3 Co-Linebacker of the Year and was selected as a Little All-City honorable mention as a linebacker.

Additionally just a few weeks after achieving his fourth-place effort in the state wrestling tournament, he took fifth place in the 145-pound division at the State Powerlifting Meet after finishing fourth at regionals.

Just this past spring, Loving excelled in the 800-meter run and 1,600-meter run through the course of the season and ended up 14th in the 800 at state. He was unable to compete in the 1,600 due to running a fever.

Loving, who is a member of the Chickasaw Nation, was also named to the 2021 Oklahoma Native All-Star Cross Country Team and recently ran in the Oklahoma Native All-State Association Games on Saturday in Okmulgee.

He has also qualified for the USA Wrestling Nationals on July 17 in Fargo, N.D. in both Freestyle and Greco Roman.