LARAMIE, Wyo. (Feb. 9, 2017) – The University of Wyoming wrestling team will close out the regular season against three ranked opponents this weekend. UW will visit the Sooner State for contests against No. 17 Oklahoma and No. 1 Oklahoma State on Friday, before returning home for Senior Day against No. 25 North Dakota State on Sunday.
The dual against the Sooners will start at 11 a.m. MT and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest, while the 6:30 p.m. matchup with Oklahoma State will be streamed live on FloWrestling. Senior Day against NDSU will begin at 2 p.m. and will also be streamed live on FloWrestling. Trackwrestling will have live results for each dual.
Last Time Out
The Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team dominated Northern Colorado in its Big 12 dual on Wednesday night. The Pokes won seven of ten bouts to roll to a 28-10 win. Wyoming put the dual away early, bolting to a 19-4 lead at intermission before cruising to the win. Wyoming used bonus point victories in three bouts to earn its sixth-straight dual win this season and the 22nd-consecutive over Northern Colorado. The Pokes current winning streak of six duals is the longest since the 2014-15 season when Andy Chapman was the SID for Cowboy wrestling.
Series against Oklahoma
It will be the 20th contest between Oklahoma and Wyoming. The Sooners hold a 16-3 advantage in the all-time series. A pair of bonus point victories by Archie Colgan and Bryce Meredith were not enough as UW fell to then-No. 12 Oklahoma, 21-16 last year. Tanner Harms and Brandon Tribble also scored victories for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma went 7-1 in duals during the month of January and is currently ranked as the No. 17 team in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. It is coming off 20-19 loss to South Dakota State after winning three straight beforehand. The Sooners have four wrestlers ranked by InterMat. No. 10 Yoanse Meijas leads the way for OU at the 165-pound weight. Also ranked are No. 13 Davion Jeffries at 149, No. 11 Clark Glass (157) and No. 19 Ross Larson at heavyweight.
Series against Oklahoma State
The dual against top-ranked Oklahoma State will mark the 21st in the series between Wyoming and OSU. Oklahoma State is 20-0-1 in the meetings between the two programs. The tie came in 1957 as the two squads tied, 12-12, in Laramie. Wyoming fell to then-No. 7 Oklahoma State, 34-7 a year ago in the UniWyo Sports Complex in what was the Pokes’ home dual opener.
Oklahoma State enters this weekend ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. Individually, Oklahoma State has all 10 starters ranked in each of the four major national polls including returning NCAA Champion 141-pounder Dean Heil, who is ranked No. 1 in all four major polls. OSU also returns All-Americans Nolan Boyd, Anthony Collica and Joe Smith from an NCAA Runner-Up finish at the NCAA Championships in Madison Square Garden last spring.
Series against North Dakota State
The Pokes lead the all-time series against North Dakota State by a mark of 10-6 in a matchup that dates back to 1990. A tech fall win by Kyle Pope to open the dual propelled the Cowboy wrestlers past North Dakota State, 27-13 when the teams met last year. The Pokes won three of the first four matches in the dual and finished by winning the final three bouts on their way to the win.
North Dakota State is holding on to the 25th spot in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches. The Bison have two wrestlers within the InterMat rankings with Josh Rodriguez (No. 4) at 125-pounds and Clay Ream (No. 7) at 157. NDSU is coming off a 22-16 loss to Utah Valley in Fargo on Feb. 3 and will face Air Force in Colorado Springs on Friday before traveling to Laramie.
Seven Cowboys will be honored as members of the Wyoming wrestling program prior to Sunday’s dual with NDSU. Those Cowboys include:
Jake Elliott – Sacramento, Calif.
Cole Mendenhall – Great Falls, Mont.
Tanner Miller – Douglas, Wyo.
Nate Shaw – Bettendorf, Iowa
Drew Templeman – Orting, Wash.
Brandon Tribble – Colorado Springs, Colo.
Gunnar Woodburn – Claremore, Okla.
He Said It
“I look at every dual and see how we can not only win, but come out to compete,” Branch said. “We understand it is a tough week and know we need to fight and battle. Looking at Friday’s duals, I see matches that we can compete in and win. We don’t always worry about just winning, we worry about preparing ourselves in the best way possible to be ready to compete.”
“I believe the scariest thing about Gallagher is if you start out intimidated,” Branch added. “We have to believe that we have a chance to come away with wins. I have a lot of respect for that program but at the same time I want us to compete. I spent a lot of years there and I have a lot of pride for OSU, but I want all of our guys to get their arms raised on Friday night.”
“North Dakota State is a tough team and they match up well against us,” Branch mentioned. “I think they have proven themselves against the top teams in country. It will be Senior Day so I hope we can close out the season on a high note and make it special for the seniors. This group means a lot to this program.”
Wyoming Projected Lineup (7-5, 4-1 Big 12)
125: #15 Drew Templeman, Sr. (15-5)
141: #8 Bryce Meredith, Jr. (24-4)
149: Cole Mendenhall, Sr. (25-5)
157: #19 Archie Colgan, Jr. (29-5)
165: #16 Branson Ashworth, RSo. (31-4)
174: Kyle Pope, Jr. (19-12)
184: Lucas Lovvorn, RFr. (16-8)
197: Luke Paine, Jr. (10-12)
#17 Oklahoma Projected Lineup (9-5, 4-2 Big 12)
125: Christian Moody, RFr. (14-7) OR Dalton Duffield, Fr. (3-4)
133: Trae Blackwell, Jr. (1-11) OR Jacob Rubio, RSo. (4-3)
141: Mike Longo, Jr. (15-5)
149: #13 Davion Jeffries, So. (15-11)
157: #11 Clark Glass, RSr. (18-5)
165: #10 Yoanse Mejias, Jr. (8-2)
174: Matt Reed, RSr. (4-6) OR DaWaylon Barnes, Jr. (7-6)
184: Andrew Dixon, Jr. (7-12)
197: Brad Johnson, RSr. (12-9)
285: #19 Ross Larson, RSr. (14-7)
#1 Oklahoma State Projected Lineup (12-0, 4-0 Big 12)
125: #11 Nick Piccininni (16-6) OR Eli Hale (10-4)
133: #3 Kaid Brock (20-1)
141: #1 Dean Heil (21-0) OR Boo Lewallen (11-2)
149: #3 Anthony Collica (15-1)
157: #6 Joseph Smith (7-3) OR Davey Dolan (13-5)
165: #8 Chandler Rogers (15-4) OR Hestin Lamons (8-8)
174: #9 Kyle Crutchmer (13-4) OR Jordan Rogers (6-3)
184: #6 Nolan Boyd (16-3)
197: #8 Preston Weigel (13-4) OR Derek White (18-7)
285: #6 Austin Schafer (18-1) OR Tanner Allen (8-6)
#25 North Dakota State (12-4, 2-2 Big 12)
125: #4 Josh Rodriguez (18-1)
133: Cam Sykora (11-2)
141: Taylor Nein (8-12)
149: Mitch Friedman (13-9) OR Kyle Gliva (9-4)
157: #7 Clay Ream (19-3)
165: Andrew Fogarty (20-6)
174: Dylan Urbach (10-7)
184: Tyler McNutt (10-11)
197: Cordell Eaton (12-10)
285: Ben Tynan (14-4) OR Dan Stibral (7-6)
*InterMat individual rankings.