LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 5, 2016) – The first Saturday of November was capped with five individual championships in two divisions at the 39th annual Cowboy Open. It was the second-consecutive year that Wyoming had at least five individual titles.
To start the winning ways for Wyoming in the amateur division of the tournament was freshmen Montorie Bridges and Trent Olson. Bridges went a perfect 4-0 at 133-pounds with two decisions to win the first title for UW. In the semifinals, he won by major decision over Tanner Cox of Western Wyoming before defeating Olsen in the finals by decision, 6-4.
Olsen made his Brown and Gold debut with a number of decisions before a runner-up finish to Bridges. He added a 9-7 sudden victory decision over Brett Kasprzyk of Colorado Mesa in the semifinals.
In the elite division, sophomore Ben Hornickle claimed the second championship for UW at 141-pounds. He won his first two matches by decision before a major decision of Josh Giorgio of Air Force in the semifinals. Hornickle then went on to defeat Daniel Salazar of Colorado Mesa University, 4-3 in the finals to notch the victory.
Redshirt senior Cole Mendenhall captured his title by medical forfeit from Gerald McGinty of Air Force in the 149-pound finals. He finished 4-0 on the day which included two decisions and one fall. Mendenhall won by decision in the morning before getting his first fall in the second match. Additionally, he claimed a 6-0 decision over Northern Colorado’s Benjamin Polkowske en route to the title.
Wyoming had great success at 157-pounds, taking home first and second place. Junior Archie Colgan claimed his title over teammate Branson Ashworth. Colgan began the day with a 3-1 decision over Jake Anderson of Chadron State. He added two more decisions before matching up with Branson for the championship. Colgan won by posting a 3-2 sudden victory decision in the finals.
Branson clearly had himself a day as well wearing the Brown and Gold. He started things off with a 17-0 tech fall over Tommy Cooper of Montana State-Northern. He then had two decisions and a fall in the semifinals over Boise State’s Fred Green before meeting to Colgan in the finals.
Junior Wesley Schultz brought home the fifth title for the Cowboys. He began his UW career with two straight decisions before winning by medical forfeit over Nebraska-Kearney’s Zach Stodden in the finals.
Other Cowboys wrestlers were redshirt freshman Doyle Trout, who saw his first action for Wyoming. He won by decision to begin the day before falling to Tim Romero in the round of 16. Redshirt sophomore Sam Eagan fell in the quarterfinals after claiming a decision in the round of 16. Junior Luke Paine went 1-1 on the day. He had a tech fall in the quarterfinals before falling by decision in the semifinals. Dewey Krueger and Kyle Pope won their first two matches before defeat in the quarterfinals. Hunter Mullins went 4-2 on the day, as Sam Turner went 5-1.
Junior Bryce Meredith was competing at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic. He fell in extra time to Rutgers’ Anthony Ashnault. Ashnault scored a takedown in the extra period to move past Meredith, 8-6. Meredith held the advantage with two first-period takedowns. Ashnault closed the gap with a reversal late in the first period and then had a second-period takedown. Before fighting off attacks and counters, Ashnault tied the match in the third period with an escape.
The Cowboys will now set their sights on the Northern Colorado Open on Nov. 13, before opening the dual portion of their schedule by hosting Nebraska on Nov. 20.