Wyoming Wrestling Gets By Cal-State Fullerton

Feb. 15, 2004


Laramie, Wyo. - The Wyoming Cowboy wrestling teamearned its eighth dual win of the season with a narrow victory overthe Cal-State Fullerton Titans Sunday afternoon in MultiPurpose Gym inLaramie. After the dust settled the scoreboard read 21-21 but thePokes earned the victory by criteria, winning six of ten matches onthe day.

Wyoming was once again without two of their regular starters;sophomore's Bryce Leonhardt (125 pounds) and Patrick Shuler (149pounds). The Cowboys trailed early 6-0 after a Wyoming forfeit in thefirst match at 149 pounds.

Senior Andrew Shuler, ranked 17th in the nation, won his 23rd matchof the year on Sunday with a 3-1 victory in his 157 pound match.Shuler's win cut the Titan lead to 6-3.

In the 165 pound match, senior Levi Prevost defeated Ristro Marttinenof Cal State Fullerton by a score of 6-1. The win improves Prevost'sseason record to 16-4.

After a Titan major decision at 174 pounds, UW sophomore Sam Wendlandearned a hard fought victory for the Pokes in the 184 pound bout.Wendland scored on an escape and a takedown in the second period toclinch a 3-1 decision for his 14th win of the year.

The Cowboys took their first lead of the day with a victory in the197 pound match. Senior Kevin Kessner, down 3-1 in the third period,sent the match into overtime with a takedown as time expired tieingthe match at 3-3. In the extra frame, Kessner scored the decidingpoints on a takedown at 7:54 for the 5-3 win. The victory put thePokes on top 12-10.

Sophomore Dusty Hoffschneider increased Wyoming's lead to 18-10with a victory by fall in the heavyweight match. Hoffschneider,currently ranked 16th in the country, had a 8-1 advantage over MatthewFitu of the Titans before ending the match by pin at 6:39.

Hoffschneider is now 8-3 on the season and has four victories by fall.

The Titans won two of the final three matches Sunday. Wyoming's wincame in the 133 pound match as Tyson Shatto defeated Chris Sanchez bya 11-8 decision. Shatto won the bout with an escape and takedown inthe final 15 seconds for his 11th win this season and gave the Pokes a21-16 lead.

Cal-State Fullerton's Juan Mora tied the score at 21-21 with a 21-4technical fall victory over UW's Blake Gunter in the final bout of141 pounds. However, UW took six of ten matches for the tie-breakercriteria.

"I thought our guys fought pretty hard today," said Wyoming'shead wrestling coach Steven Suder. "Tyson Shatto could have easilygiven up and Kevin Kessner could have too, but they didn't. I wasproud of the way they stayed focussed and fought."

"It is unfortunate that we have some guys banged up and out of thelineup right now," added Suder. "What is really unfortunate aboutthat is they are missing out on a key part of the season, but weshould be all right. Things will work out and we should be ready to gofor the West Regional in a couple weeks."

The Cowboys have three dual's left on the schedule; at Fresno Stateon Feb. 20, at UC-Davis on Feb. 21st, and a home contest with AirForce on Feb. 24th. The NCAA West Regional, which serves as thequalifying tournament for the 2004 NCAA Wrestling Championships, willtake place in Colorado Springs, Colo. on March 6th.