Jan. 30, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Fresh off a victory Friday night, the University of Wyoming wrestling team aimed to keep momentum on its side for Sunday's dual versus North Dakota State.
It did all that and then some, as the Cowboys defeated the Bison 35-3 on Sunday in Laramie. The win boosted Wyoming's overall record to 9-4, and 3-0 in Western Wrestling Conference action. The loss drops North Dakota to 7-4 overall, and 1-3 in WWC action.
Wyoming won nine of the 10 matches Sunday and looked comfortable throughout, as two wrestlers won by technical fall, one won by major decision and one won by fall. On the weekend, the Cowboys won 19 of the 20 total matches versus South Dakota State and North Dakota State.
"It was a good weekend, for sure," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. "You saw some individual battles, but I kind of liked our grit in those battles. We need more of that kind of effort, where our kids are out there looking to improve."
No. 18 Michael Martinez had the upset of the day for Wyoming as he knocked off No. 17 Trent Sprenkle in a hard-fought 3-1 decision in the 125-pound match to begin the dual.
Tyler Cox then used his quickness to end his 133-pound bout with NDSU's Justin Solberg in the second period. Cox claimed two near fall points at the 3:50 mark of the match to take an 18-2 technical fall.
UW's Chase Smith won a close 3-1 decision over Trevor Johnson in the 141-pound match, and No. 18 Cole Dallaserra won an 8-4 decision over Mark Erickson in the 149-pound match. After those wins, Wyoming led 14-0.
The Bison got their lone win of the day in the 157-pound bout, as Vince Salminen defeated UW's Jimmy Belleville in a 7-1 decision.
Wyoming's Shane Onufer, ranked fourth, kept his flawless record intact, as he moved to 23-0 on the year with a 5-1 decision over NDSU's Steve Monk in the 165-pound match. Patrick Martinez followed that a 14-5 major decision over Tyler Johnson in the 174-pound match, and No. 5 Joe LeBlanc claimed a 20-4 technical fall over Tyler Wells at 184 pounds.
L.J. Helbig rallied from a 2-0 deficit early in the 197-pound match to take a 6-3 decision over Kenny Moenkedick.
But Jack Tennant made the home crowd come to its feet in the heavyweight match, as he pinned Will Johnson at the 2:57 mark. A late addition to the team, it was just Tennant's third match of the season.
"The first couple weeks (of training) were rough on him, because he wasn't used to this sport and the demands we have," Branch said. "But he stuck with it, and I wanted to give him a chance to wrestle at home. That was great to see, to see him get to experience something like this."
In Wyoming's next dual, the wrestlers will host Air Force at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the UniWyo Sports Complex.