NORMAN/STILLWATER, Okla. - The Wyoming Cowboys captured their first-ever win in Norman, Okla., over the Oklahoma Sooners on Friday afternoon. The Pokes, ranked #20 in the nation, defeated the Sooners by a final score of 18-16. While it was the first win in history by a Cowboy team on the Sooners' home mat, the victory marked the third Wyoming win over OU in the last four meetings between the two schools.
Senior Tyler Cox got the Cowboys off to a good start in the first match at 125 pounds, notching a 4-3 win over Ryan Millhof. It was Cox's 19th win of the season. He entered Friday's dual ranked No. 15 in the nation.
Oklahoma came back with consecutive wins at 133 and 141 pounds to take a 4-3 lead in the team score. At 133 OU's Cody Brewer, who is ranked No. 5 in the nation, won by an 8-3 decision over Wyoming's Drew Templeman. That was followed by a 10-2 major decision by Oklahoma's Trae Blackwell over UW's Cole Mendenhall.
At 149 pounds, Austin Breckenridge, from Cheyenne, Wyo., captured a key victory by a score of 7-6 over Oklahoma's Shayne Tucker. For Breckenridge, it was his first action in a varsity dual this season. Wyoming head coach Mark Branch spoke about Breckenridge's contribution following the match.
"I think the key was bringing Austin Breckenridge, who hadn't wrestled in a varsity match all year and he picked up a big win," said Branch. "But the rest of the team had to do their job, as well."
Breckenridge's win pulled the Cowboys back to within one point of the Sooners at 7-6, but OU's No. 15 ranked Justin DeAngelis defeated UW's Archie Colgan 11-6 at 157 pounds to build the Sooners lead to 10-6.
The Pokes then proceeded to win the next four matches at 165, 174, 184 and 197 to seal the team victory. Cowboy senior Dakota Friesth, ranked No. 19 started the run of four straight wins with a 6-2 victory over Clark Glass of Oklahoma, who was ranked No. 20 in the nation, in the 165-pound match.
"A match that was pretty much a toss up in the Reno Tournament earlier this year was the 165-pound match between Dakota (Friesth) and (Clark) Glass, but today Dakota came out and dominated that match from beginning to end," said Branch.
Cowboy senior Andy McCulley, ranked No. 14 in the nation at 174 pounds, recorded his fourth consecutive win over a ranked opponent on Friday, defeating OU's No. 17 ranked Matt Reed by a score of 7-3 in the second consecutive meeting between ranked opponents on the day.
At 184 pounds, Wyoming's No. 19 ranked Ben Stroh recorded a 3-0 win over Sooner Climmons Brooks.
Wyoming's final win of the afternoon saw Cowboy senior Shane Woods, a native of Tuttle, Okla., notch his team-leading 25th victory of the season over OU's Andrew Dixon. Woods entered the match ranked No. 15 in the country. His win gave the Pokes an 18-10 lead heading into the 285-pound match where Oklahoma's Ross Larson, ranked No. 9 in the NCAA, won by fall over Wyoming's Tanner Harms at the 4:11 mark
"We felt like we had to win six matches to assure a victory today, and that is how it ended up playing out," said Branch. "It was a team effort. I thought we were a little conservative in some of our wins, but at the same time you don't want to do anything crazy and that was a lesson we learned last Sunday against North Dakota State.
"I don't think we're where we need to be yet, but there are things I saw that were encouraging -- like at 133 where Drew (Templeman) put up a really good fight. He battled hard. He was the aggressor and had a lot of opportunities to score takedowns. Even though he wasn't able to get the win, you walk away from a match like that feeling like we're in there battling one of their better guys. Those are the type of things that help build the kind of attitude we want to wrestle with.
"One thing we can't do is give up bonus points. Tanner (Harms) was a little overly aggressive, but he did some really good things. He was right there toe-to-toe with another one of their really good kids, and he's going for it and that is what you want to see. Tanner went on the attack right away and wrestled hard. Those are the types of good things I saw even in some of our losses.
"I think we can still wrestle a little more open, a little more aggressive, but in a big-time match against a big-time program like OU you also are glad that your guys wrestled smart and didn't do anything crazy to put the match in jeopardy. It was a nice win for our program against a program in OU, that is really coming along. It was also nice coming off a loss to jump back into form and pick up an important win for our team."
Oklahoma State Recap
After gaining its first victory in Norman, Okla., over the Oklahoma Sooners on Friday afternoon, the No. 20 ranked Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team traveled to Stillwater, Okla., on Friday night to take on the No. 7 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. In a closely-contested dual, Wyoming fell to the OSU Cowboys by a final score of 19-12.
All but one match on the night was decided by decision. The only one match to be decided by something other than a decision was the 167-pound weight class when OSU's No. 1 ranked Alex Dieringer defeated UW's No. 19 ranked Dakota Friesth by a major decision, 16-7.
Wyoming's four victories on the night came in the 149, 157, 184 and 197-pound weight classes. UW's Austin Breckenridge recorded his second victory of the day when he defeated Oklahoma State's David Dolan by a score of 7-5 at 149 pounds. At 157, Wyoming's Archie Colgan decisioned OSU's Anthony Collica, 6-4.
Ben Stroh of Wyoming, ranked No. 19 in the nation at 184 pounds, recorded his second win of the day, defeating OSU's No. 9 ranked Nolan Boyd by a score of 7-6.
UW senior Shane Woods, a native of Tuttle, Okla., also captured his second victory on Friday by defeating Oklahoma State's Luke Bean, 3-2, at 197 pounds. Woods entered the weekend ranked No. 15 in the country.
In addition to the 184-pound matchup of nationally-ranked wrestlers Stroh and Boyd, there were two other weight classes that featured matchups of nationally-ranked wrestlers. At 125 pounds, Oklahoma State's No. 9 ranked Eddie Klimara narrowly defeated Wyoming's No. 15 ranked Tyler Cox by a score of 11-9. And in the 174-weight class, OSU's No. 10 ranked Kyle Crutchmer edged UW's No. 14 ranked Andy McCulley by two points, 5-3.
"I'm more encouraged than I have been probably all season because our guys went out there and competed at a high level," said head coach Mark Branch. "But we still have to figure out how to win some of those tight matches. There is that X factor of getting your hand raised that is one of the most important parts of our sport.
"But we can walk away knowing that we belong in a big dual like this, and it wasn't by accident that we were in those close matches. We wrestled hard to earn the opportunity to win, we just didn't capitalize in all those situations."
After its one win and one loss on Friday, Wyoming's dual record this season now stands at 8-4 overall, 3-1 in the Western Wrestling Conference. Oklahoma State is now 7-3 overall in duals this season and is 2-0 in the Big 12.
The Cowboys will return to action on Friday, February 13 in Laramie, Wyo., when they will host the No. 19 ranked Oregon State Beavers in the UniWyo Sports Complex. That match will begin at 7 p.m. and will be senior night for the Cowboys.
Final Match Results Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, 2 p.m. M.T. (3 p.m., C.T.), McCasland Field House, Norman, Okla.
Final Team Score: #20 Wyoming 18, Oklahoma 16
Individual Scores Team Score:
125: No. 15 Tyler Cox (Wyoming) dec. Ryan Millhof (OU), 4-3 3-0
133: No. 5 Cody Brewer (OU) dec. Drew Templeman (Wyoming), 8-3 3-3
141: Trae Blackwell (OU) maj. dec. Cole Mendenhall (Wyoming), 10-2 3-7
149: Austin Breckenridge (Wyoming) dec. Shayne Tucker (OU), 7-6 6-7
157: No. 15 Justin DeAngelis (OU) dec. Archie Colgan (Wyoming), 11-6 6-10
165: No. 19 Dakota Friesth (Wyoming) dec. Clark Glass (OU), 6-2 9-10
174: No. 14 Andy McCulley (Wyoming) dec. No. 17 Matt Reed (OU), 7-3 12-10
184: No. 19 Benjamin Stroh (Wyoming) dec. Brooks Climmons (OU), 3-0 15-10
197: No. 15 Shane Woods (Wyoming) dec. Andrew Dixon (OU), 4-0 18-10
285: No. 11 Ross Larson (OU) fall Tanner Harms (Wyoming), 4:11 18-16 Final Score
Final Match Results Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, 6:30 p.m. M.T. (7:30 p.m., C.T.), Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla.
Final Team Score: #20 Wyoming 12, #7 Oklahoma State 19
Individual Scores Team Score:
125: No. 9 Eddie Klimara (OSU) dec. No. 15 Tyler Cox (Wyoming), 11-9 0-3
133: Gary Wayne Harding (OSU) dec. Drew Templeman (Wyoming), 8-3 0-6
141: No. 16 Dean Heil (OSU) dec. Cole Mendenhall (Wyoming), 6-5 0-9
149: Austin Breckenridge (Wyoming) dec. David Dolan (OSU), 7-5 3-9
157: Archie Colgan (Wyoming) dec. Anthony Collica (OSU), 6-4 6-9
165: No. 1 Alex Dieringer (OSU) maj. dec. No. 19 Dakota Friesth (Wyoming), 16-7 6-13
174: No. 10 Kyle Crutchmer (OSU) dec. No. 14 Andy McCulley (Wyoming), 5-3 6-16
184: No. 19 Benjamin Stroh (Wyoming) dec. No. 9 Nolan Boyd (OSU), 7-6 9-16
197: No. 15 Shane Woods (Wyoming) dec. Luke Bean (OSU), 3-2 12-16
285: No. 5 Austin Marsden (OSU) dec. Tanner Harms (Wyoming), 9-6 12-19 Final Score