Wyoming Wrestling Wins Conference Opener

Jan. 22, 2011

OREM, Utah -

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The Wyoming Cowboy wrestling started off its Western Wrestling Conference season on the right foot Saturday, beating Utah Valley 23-15.

Wyoming (7-4 overall, 1-0 WWC) took on the Wolverines on the road, and came out of the dual with a big team win.

Jimmy Belleville got it started with an 12-6 decision over Richard Winger at 157 pounds to give Wyoming an early 3-0 lead.

The next battle featured No. 6 Shane Onufer taking on Jeb Clark in the 165-pound match. Onufer kept his flawless record intact, moving to 21-0 on the year with an 8-2. The win gave Wyoming a 6-0 lead in the dual.

Patrick Martinez took on Brad Darrington in the 174-pound match in one of the more exciting matches of the night. Martinez got in an early 2-0 hole, but added an escape point with 45 seconds left in the first period to make it 2-1. Darrington added an escape early in the second to push the lead to 3-1. Martinez then got a quick takedown to tie things up at 3 all in the second period. He then added an escape point to take a 4-3 lead in the third period. With 10 seconds left, Darrington added a takedown for the 5-4 win to make the team score 6-3.

No. 6 Joe LeBlanc made his mark on the dual, pinning Casen Eldredge at the 5:27 mark in the 184-pound match. LeBlanc was relentless throughout the match, and got his sixth pin of the year. Wyoming led 12-3 thanks to LeBlanc's effort.

L.J. Helbig got a big win over Trevor Rupp in the 197-pound match, taking a 12-4 major decision. Helbig took a 6-3 lead into the third period, and kept up the pressure on Rupp. Wyoming led 16-3 after five matches.

Matthew McLaughlin took a 9-1 major decision over Christian Denny in the heavyweight bout. McLaughlin showed patience throughout the match, and took advantage of his opportunities to give Wyoming a 20-3 lead.

The 125-pound match featured two ranked wrestlers from each school, as Wyoming's Michael Martinez, ranked No. 18,took on UVU's Ben Kjar, ranked 14th. Kjar took a 5-4 decision in a hard-fought battle between the two. The score after that match was Wyoming 20, Utah Valley 6.

No. 18 Tyler Cox fell to No. 13 Flint Ray in the 133-pound bout. Cox battled throughout the first period, but Ray pinned Cox at the 3:53 mark to make the team scores Wyoming 20, Utah Valley 12.

Chase Smith took on Justin Morrill in the 141-pound match. Morrill took a 5-3 lead into the third period, Smith added an escape to make it 5-4, but couldn't close the gap any more. Morrill took the 5-4 decision to make it Wyoming 20, Utah Valley 15.

In the last match of the night, No. 19 Cole Dallaserra beat Josh Wilson in the 149-pound battle with a 4-2 decision. Wilson needed a fall to give UVU the win, but Dallaserra wouldn't yield. The two fought to a 0-0 after one period, but Dallaserra scored an escape point and later added a takedown for a 3-0 lead. Wilson scored two late points to make it 3-2, but Dallaserra managed to hang on for the decision.

Match-by-match results
125 pounds: No. 18 Michael Martinez lost to No. 14 Ben Kjar in a 5-4 decision.
133: No. 18 Tyler Cox lost to No. 13 Flint Ray with a pin at 3:53.
141: Chase Smith lost to Justin Morrill in a 5-4 decision.
149: No. 19 Cole Dallaserra defeated Josh Wilson with a 4-2 decision.
157: Jimmy Belleville defeated Richard Winger in a 12-6 decision.
165: No. 6 Shane Onufer defeated Jeb Clark in an 8-2 decision.
174: Patrick Martinez lost to Brad Darrington in a 5-4 decision.
184: No. 5 Joe LeBlanc defeated Casen Eldredge at 5:27.
197: L.J. Helbig defeated Trevor Rupp in a 12-4 major decision.
Heavyweight: Matthew McLaughlin defeated Christian Denny in a 9-1 major decision.