LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 25, 2016) – The 2016-17 Big 12 slate gets underway for Wyoming on Sunday when the Pokes welcome Iowa State to the UniWyo Sports Complex.
The contest against the Cyclones will begin at 2:00 p.m. MT inside the UniWyo Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. Fans can follow the action on Trackwrestling or watch live with a subscription to FloWrestling.
A Look at Wyoming
A week ago, UW fell to Nebraska, 33-8 to open its dual schedule. Redshirt sophomore Branson Ashworth held off Dustin Williams for an overtime victory to begin the match at 165 pounds. The Pokes would win just one more when redshirt senior Cole Mendenhall posted a big 18-3 victory over Jordan Shearer at 149 pounds.
Junior Bryce Meredith is the lone Cowboy ranked according to InterMat’s Division I rankings. The junior is the No. 7 ranked wrestler in the 141-pound weight class. Meredith is also the 11th-ranked wrestler in the FloWrestling ASICS rankings while redshirt senior Drew Templeman is No. 13 in the 133-pound weight class.
A Look at Iowa State
The Cyclones will travel to Northern Colorado for a Saturday afternoon matchup before stopping in Laramie. Iowa State hosted the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open last Sunday where 11 wrestlers finished within the top-six for ISU. Redshirt junior Dane Pestano and redshirt senior Lelund Watherspoon came away with titles in their respective brackets for Iowa State.
Before their Open tournament, Iowa State dropped its first two duals to South Dakota State and North Dakota State on the road. The Cyclones are one of just eight squads in the country to return three or more 2016 All-Americans, as Hall, Weatherspoon and Downey are all coming of All-America finishes from last year. They also return two other NCAA-Qualifiers in Kyle Larson and Pestano.
In all, the Cyclones have five wrestlers ranked in the latest InterMat rankings. No. 5 Earl Hall leads the way in the 133-pound weight class, as Patrick Downey is No. 6 at 184-pounds. Weatherspoon is tenth in the 174-pound weight class, while Gabe Moreno and Pestano are 13th and 19th in the 141 and 165-pound weight classes, respectively.
He Said it
“We know we have another stiff competition this weekend and we can’t take them lightly,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “We always want to continue to get better, as that is our focus. We want to be able to come out and take steps forward. This Iowa State teams has experience and can certainly challenge anyone.”
Iowa State stretched the all-time lead to 14-1 last year after it won 19-14 in Ames, Iowa. Bryce Meredith and Archie Colgan, alongside Drew Templeman and Tanner Harms earned wins for the Pokes in the dual.
Probable matchups vs. Iowa State
125: Gunnar Woodburn (6-3) vs. Markus Simmons (9-2)
133: Ronnie Stevens (8-4) vs. #5 Earl Hall (3-1)
141: #7 Bryce Meredith (5-1) vs. #13 Gabe Moreno (0-0) OR John Meeks (4-1)
149: Cole Mendenhall (9-0) vs. Chase Straw (7-1)
157: Archie Colgan (9-1) vs. Colston DeBlasi (7-4) OR Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (4-4)
165: Branson Ashworth (10-1) vs. #19 Dane Pestano (5-1)
174: Kyle Pope (7-4) vs. #10 Lelund Weatherspoon (6-1)
184: Luke Paine (4-4) vs. #6 Patrick Downey (4-0) OR Carson Powell (5-3)
197: Brandon Tribble (5-3) OR Cody Vigoren (6-4) vs. Marcus Harrington (0-0) OR Joseph Teague (2-3)
285: Sam Eagan (8-4) vs. Quean Smith (0-0)
*Rankings based off InterMat rankings.