Cowboys Dispatch Air Force 29-9 for Big 12 Dual Victory

LARAMIE, Wyo. (Feb. 4, 2017) –  The University of Wyoming wrestling team easily handled visiting Air Force in the UniWyo Sports Complex on Saturday night. Head coach Mark Branch’s squad won seven of the ten bouts, including two bonus point wins, to roll to a 29-9 victory. The win was the fifth-straight this season for UW and the ninth-consecutive over Air Force. 

“We won a few tight matches tonight,” UW head coach Branch said. “We also lost a few. There was some positive things against Air Force but we also showed we still need to make improvements. It was a good dual to learn from, which is nice this late in the season. It’s great to see progression, especially how we have grinded out a few of these duals lately. These wins make the environment a little better to come back to and train, but we are looking at the bigger picture. I thought Kyle Pope’s performance was the best in terms of hustle. Also, Branson (Ashworth) looked aggressive on top and he came out with a high pace. Overall, we did have good performances tonight. ”

The dual began at 285 where senior Brandon Tribble won by injury default. The win was his second-straight victory and also the third of the last four. At 125, No. 16 Drew Templeman continued his outstanding run with a 4-1 decision over Drew Romero. Templeman used an early takedown to secure the lead and never looked back. It was Templeman’s eighth-straight win for the Brown and Gold. 

Junior Bryce Meredith, ranked No. 8 at 141, notched UW’s first bonus point win of the dual. Meredith scored a takedown and back-to-back four point near falls to open a 10-0 lead in the first period. Meredith ultimately earned a 19-3 tech fall over John Twomey to give UW a 14-3 lead after four bouts. 

No. 19 Archie Colgan took advantage of Alex Mossing in the 157-pound match. Scoreless after the opening period, Colgan then scored two takedowns and an escape for a 5-2 victory. Branson Ashworth, the 16th-ranked wrestler according to Intermat, wasted no time in pinning Tyler Wiederholt to advance UW’s lead 23-6 over Air Force. Ashworth secured the only fall of the dual in 49 seconds. It was his seventh pin of the season and team-leading 30th win. 

Kyle Pope held on for an 8-6 victory over Michael Billingsley. Pope used two takedowns in the final period to give him the advantage and first conference win of the year. Lucas Lovvorn up the final win for the Brown and Gold on Saturday night. Lovvorn earned a 2-1 overtime decision over Zen Ikehara. It was the first Big 12 dual victory for Lovvorn this season. 

UW will be back on the mat on Wednesday night in Greeley, Colo. The Pokes will take on Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. MT.

Match Results
 285: Brandon Tribble wins by injury default over Kerry Powers 
125: No. 16 Drew Templeman wins by decision over Drew Romero, 4-1 
133: Dylan Hyder wins by decision over Ronnie Stevens, 4-3 
141: No. 8 Bryce Meredith tech fall over John Twomey (5:55), 19-3 
149: Jerry McGinty wins by decision over Ben Hornickle, 5-1 
157: No. 19 Archie Colgan wins by decision over Alex Mossing, 5-2 
165: No. 16 Branson Ashworth fall over Tyler Wiederholt (0:49) 
174: Kyle Pope wins by decision over Michael Billingsley, 8-6 
184: Lucas Lovvorn wins by decision over Zen Ikehara in 2OT, 2-1 
197: Anthony McLaughlin wins by decision over Luke Paine, 3-2