Woods Leads Pokes at Conference Championship

March 7, 2015

FARGO, N.D. -

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Senior Shane Woods won his third-consecutive conference championship to lead the University of Wyoming wrestlers at the NCAA West Regional/Western Wrestling Conference Championship on Saturday in Bentson Bunker Field House in Fargo, N.D.

UW finished second in the team standings with 63 points, trailing North Dakota State by just four and a half points. UW earned five automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Championship with Woods, senior Tyler Cox and sophomore Benjamin Stroh. Both Cox and Stroh placed second in their respective weight classes to earn the bids. Senior Dakota Friesth and Junior Tanner Harms earned bids by winning true second place matches.

Woods won two matches on the day defeating Derek Thomas of Utah Valley by decision at 2-1. In the finals, Woods used a late take down to defeat Trent Noon of Northern Colorado by a score of 3-2. It is Woods second-consecutive title at 197 pounds after winning the event at 184 pounds in 2012-13.

Cox earned his automatic bid to the NCAA Championships placing second at 125 pounds. He defeated Josh Martinez in the championship semifinal via decision at 9-5. He fell to North Dakota State's Josh Rodriquez by decision 3-2 in the championship. He will be making his third-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championship.

Stroh earned his second-straight bid to the NCAA Championship by finishing second at 184 pounds. He fell to NDSU's Hayden Zillmer in the finals by decision at 6-2. He earned his team leading eighth pin of the season in the championship semifinals against South Dakota State's Brady Ayers. His win over Ayers was the 50th of his young career with the Pokes.

Redshirt freshman Archie Colgan finished second at 157 pounds. He fell to South Dakota State's Cody Pack via decision by a score of 6-2. Colgan got to the finals by defeating Beau Roberts of UNC by decision at 4-0.

Senior Andy McCulley went 2-1 on the day to finish third at 174 pounds and was awarded the fastest pin award. He pinned David Kocer of South Dakota State in 1:05. He did not earn an automatic-bid to the NCAA Championship, but qualifies for an at-large bid.

Senior Dakota Friesth battled his way back after losing in the championship semifinal, he defeated Air Force's Jesse Stafford by forfeit in the true second-place bout that was for the final automatic-bid at 165 pounds. Junior Tanner Harms faced a similar road than Friesth and won the 285 pounds true second place match against Evan Knutson of North Dakota State by forfeit.

Sophomore Drew Templeman finished third at 133 pounds as did sophomore Cole Mendenhall at 141 pounds.

After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 70 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 11. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition, qualifying event placement, quality wins, results against common opponents, winning percentage, RPI, coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.

Wyoming results

125 pounds: Tyler Cox (11), Second place (NCAA Qualifier)

Championship semifinals: Cox dec. Josh Martinez (AFA), 9-5

Championship final: Josh Rodriquez (NDSU) dec. Cox, 3-1

133: Drew Templeman (2-1), Third place

Championship semifinals: Brance Simms (SDSU) dec. Templeman, 9-4

Consolation semifinals: Templeman dec. Kyle Gilva (NDSU), 5-0

Consolation final: Templeman dec. Anthony McHugh (AFA), 3-1

141: Cole Mendenhall (2-1), Third place

Championship quarterfinals: Benjamin Polkowske (UNC) dec. Mendenhall, 9-5

Consolation semifinals: Mendenhall fall (4:42) Carter McElhany (AFA), fall

Consolation final: Mendenhall dec. Matthew Ontiveros (UVU), 12-9

149: Jake Elliott (1-2)

Championship quarterfinals: Elliott major dec. Nick Adams (UNC), 14-3

Championship semifinals: Alex Kocer (SDSU) dec. Elliott, 11-5

Consolation semifinal: Trevor Willson (UVU) dec. Elliott, 3-2

157: Archie Colgan (1-1), Second place

Championship semifinals: Colgan dec. Beau Roberts (UNC), 4-0

Championship final: Cody Pack (SDSU) dec. Colgan, 5-2

165: Dakota Friesth (3-1), Third place*

Championship semifinals: Michael Polkowske (UNC) dec. Friesth, 9-8

Consolation semifinal: Friesth dec. Steve Keogh (NDSU), 5-3

Consolation final: Friesth dec. John Nething (SDSU), 8-4

True second place: Friesth forfeit over Jesse Stafford (AFA)

174: Andy McCulley (2-1), Third Place

Championship semifinals: Ethan Smith (UVU) dec. McCulley, 5-2

Consolation semifinal: McCulley major dec. Josh VanTine (UNC), 11-2

Consolation final: McCulley fall (1:05), David Kocer (SDSU), fall

184: Benjamin Stroh (1-1), Second place (NCAA Qualifier)

Championship semifinals: Stroh fall (1:16) Brady Ayers (SDSU), fall

Championship final: Zillmer (NDSU) dec. Stroh, 6-2

197: Shane Woods (2-0), First place (NCAA Qualifier)

Championship semifinals: Woods dec. Derek Thomas (UVU), 2-1

Championship final: Woods dec. Trent Noon (UNC), 3-2

285: Tanner Harms (3-1), Third place*

Championship semifinals: J.J. Everard (SDSU) dec. Harms, 5-3

Consolation semifinal: Harms dec. Marcus Malecek (AFA), 7-1

Consolation final: Harms dec. Jordan Karst (UVU), 6-5

True Second Place: Harms forfeit over Evan Kuntson (NDSU)