March 16, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -
The University of Wyoming wrestling team finished day one of competition at the 2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Thursday. Four Cowboys managed to find their way into tomorrow's action.
The highlight of the day came when Bryce Leonhardt defeated the #6 seed Coleman Scott from Oklahoma State. Scott was one of the favorites to be in the running for 125 pound national title, but Leonhardt managed to out fight him for a 3-2 victory. Leonhardt then would face the #11 seed Luke Smith from Central Michigan. Smith caught Leonhardt early and was able to record a pin victory at the :33 mark.
Due to the bracketing and the amount of wrestlers in the 149 pound bracket, Carter Downing had to wrestle a pigtail match to get into the actual first round of the tournament. He took care of that when he defeated Chris Renninger of Drexel, 8-0. Next in his way would be the #8 seed and two-time All-American Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan. Downing fought with Tannenbaum all the way through, but Tannenbaum managed to pull away at the end in a 5-0 decision. Downing then extended his weekend by beating Daniel Elliot of Gardner-Webb in a 19-9 major decision.
Unfortunately, Cowboys Danny Clum and Dusty Hoffschneider both drew the #1 wrestlers in the nation in their weight classes for their first round bouts. Hoffschneider gave Cole Konrad of Minnesota all he could handle and more during their match. With Konrad leading 5-3, Hoffschneider went for a takedown to tie the match up, but Konrad managed to reverse the Cowboy heavyweight's attack and score two more points to seal the victory 7-4. Hoffschneider then bounced back to defeat Harold Sherell of Buffalo in a 15-2 major decision.
In Clum's first match, Iowa State's Trent Paulson proved his billing as he was able to defeat Wyoming's 157 pounder, 12-3. Clum then followed that match up with a 4-2 victory over Aric Fuhramn of Bloomsburg.
In the 174 pound bracket, the Pokes were represented by Bryan Bernal. He would come up just short against Penn State's James Yonushonis in a 8-4 decision. Then in a tough match, Bernal was leading 6-0 over Jared Ricotta of Duquense before Ricotta was able to get Bernal on his back for the pin late in the third period.
Malcolm Havens was another Cowboy who fell in first round action when he lost to Casey Phelps, 7-2. In his next match he would face Joe Fendone of Edinboro. Fendone proved to be to much for Havens as he got pinned at the 2:48 mark. This would mark the end of Havens career as a Cowboy where he made his senior year his best with a 19-13 record.
Competition will continue tomorrow in the Ford Center at 10 a.m. with the championship third rounds and the third rounds of the consolation bracket.