Jan. 21, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Pins from three Wyoming wrestlers kick started the Cowboys to a commanding 36-6 dual win over Utah Valley on Saturday night in Laramie.
The win propelled the Cowboys (4-2 overall) to their first win in Western Wrestling Conference action. The Cowboys are 1-0 this season, and UW now is 4-2 in WWC openers since 2006-07, the league's first year.
Wyoming, which now has won four straight duals, got off to a great start in Saturday's contest, thanks to the efforts of junior L.J. Helbig in the heavyweight match. His pin of Zac Jensen at the 5:32 mark gave UW a 6-0 lead.
Utah Valley secured three points with a decision at 125 pounds, but UW redshirt freshman Zach Zehner gave the momentum right back to Wyoming with a pin of Blake Mangum at the 6:09 mark in the 133-pound bout. That gave Wyoming a 12-3 advantage.
The Wolverines claimed victory in the 141-pound match as UVU's Avery Garner beat UW redshirt freshman Mike Hamel in a 6-2 decision, but the Pokes would win every match after that.
"It's one of those duals, and we've been on the other side, where the matches were close, but the score ends up lopsided," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said.
Wins from redshirt freshmen Robert Stroh (149 pounds) and Andy McCulley (157) gave UW the 18-6 lead heading into the 165-pound match. Senior Shane Onufer, ranked No. 3, defeated UVU's Ethan Smith in a 6-2 decision.
The scoreboard indicated Wyoming won easily, but Branch and the Cowboys need to sharpen up prior to the next contest, a Jan. 29 meeting with WWC leader Northern Iowa in Laramie.
"I thought we had some flat performances. Some of those were wins, but I thought we had some really poor performances," Branch said. "We better get better before next Sunday. We've got to figured it out and have more energy."
285 pounds: L.J. Helbig (Wyoming) fall (5:32) Zac Jensen (Utah Valley) / Wyoming 6, Utah Valley 0
125: Colby Christensen (Utah Valley) dec. Kasey Garnhart (Wyoming), 4-1 / Wyoming 6, Utah Valley 3
133: Zach Zehner (Wyoming) fall (6:09) Blake Mangum (Utah Valley) / Wyoming 12, Utah Valley 3
141: Avery Garner (Utah Valley) dec. Mike Hamel (Wyoming), 6-2 / Wyoming 12, Utah Valley 6
149: Robert Stroh (Wyoming) dec. Sam Mecham (Utah Valley), 9-3 / Wyoming 15, Utah Valley 6
157: Andy McCulley (Wyoming) dec. Napoleon Aniciete (Utah Valley), 4-2 / Wyoming 18, Utah Valley 6
165: Shane Onufer (Wyoming) dec. Ethan Smith (Utah Valley), 6-2 / Wyoming 21, Utah Valley 6
174: Pat Martinez (Wyoming) dec. Monte Schmalhaus (Utah Valley), 9-3 / Wyoming 24, Utah Valley 6
184: Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) fall (2:23) David Prieto (Utah Valley) / Wyoming 30, Utah Valley 6
197: Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming) wins by forfeit over Brian Chamberlain (Utah Valley) / Wyoming 36, Utah Valley 6