March 5, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming grapplers finished fourth at the 2005 NCAA West Regional Tournament on Saturday in Fresno, Calif. The Pokes finished the day with 39.5 team points in the five team field behind Air Force (56.5), Fresno State(88.5) and tournament champion Northern Iowa (93). Junior Dusty Hoffschneider, sophomore Gary Dack, and redshirt freshman Danny Clum were the three Cowboys to earn wild-card nominations that punch theirtickets to the NCAA National Championships.
Dack was the lone Cowboy to make it to his championship bout at 165 pounds. The Arvada, Colo. native got his sixth pin of the year when he won his first match of the tournament against Kevin Knabjian of Eastern Illinois at the 1:47 mark. Dack then defeated the No. 1 seed Nick Baima of Northern Iowa in a 11-9 decision before losing in the championship to Shane Seibert of Fresno State 12-0. Baima and Seibert both entered the tournament ranked 13th and 18th in the nation.
Wyoming's Hoffschneider was the No. 2 seed and defending champion entering the tournament, but was upset in the first round by Peter Ziminksi of Eastern Illinois 8-2. He then wrestled back to a third place finish when he defeated Jeff Knoll of Northern Iowa 7-3 and Trey McLean of Air Force by fall at the 5:57 mark.
Clum was a third place finisher going 2-1 in the tournament. He lost his first bout in a close 7-6 decision to Chris Bitetto of Northern Iowa due to a riding time point given to Bitetto at the end of regulation. Then he got his ninth pin of the year over Andy Mangiagverra of Eastern Illinois at the 1:16 mark before defeating Anthony Dorward of Air Force 4-2 in the consolation match.
Wyoming junior Tyson Shatto took third in the 133 pound bracket with an overall record of 1-1. Shatto dropped his first match to Ryan Osgood of Northern Iowa before beating Sal Gonzalez of Fresno State in a 12-3 major decision.
149 pounder Carter Downing took the same route as Clum on way to his third place finish. Downing, the No. 3 seed, lost his first match to Dan Cadwallader in a tough 8-6 decision. He then turned around and defeated Shane Dintelman of Eastern Illinois 15-8 and Josh Peterson of Air Force 19-5. The win over Peterson assured Downing his third place finish.
Redshirt Freshman Garrett Desmond finished fourth in the 141 pound bracket. Desmond went 1-2 with his victory coming over Bob Fangerow of Eastern Illinois in a 3-2 decision. Junior Bryce Leonhardt lost his first two matches by a combined total of four points in probably the toughest bracket in the tournament. Junior Sam Wendland entered the tournament the No. 1 seed and defending champion at 184 pounds, but dropped his first two matches as well. The first one coming in overtime and the second in a 5-2 decision.
"We knew coming into the tournament we were going to have to wrestle our best matches," said UW head coach Steven Suder. "We lost some tough matches early, but I was proud of how our kids fought back the way they did. That has got to count for something."
"It shows how much respect the competition had for Dan Clum, Gary Dack, and Dusty Hoffschneider to get three wild-card nominations. I am happy for these guys and excited to see what they can do at the national tournament."
"We are a very young team and I am excited for what the future holds."
The three Cowboys who qualified will compete at the 2005 NCAA National Championships in St. Louis, Mo. on March 17-19.