Onufer Paces Cowboys on First Day at Nationals

March 17, 2011

Philadelphia, Pa.

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Junior Shane Onufer posted a 2-0 record on Thursday to lead a group of six Cowboy wrestlers representing the University of Wyoming at the 2011 NCAA Championships in the Wells Fargo Center. UW posted a 6-6 overall mark on the day with five wrestlers still alive to sit tied for 17th place with 15 points. Penn State leads with 30.5 points, Cornell is second with 29 and Iowa and Oklahoma State round out the top three with 25.

"Today could have been a lot better and it could have been a lot worse," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "We have five guys wrestling tomorrow so that's good, but I wish we had six."

Onufer, seeded seventh at 165 pounds, opened with a fall over Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of the Citadel and claimed a 6-0 decision versus Rider's Jim Resnick in the second round to advance to tomorrow morning's quarterfinals where he will face returning national champion Andrew Howe of Wisconsin. Onufer fell behind Luvsandorj early after giving up two takedowns, but rode him the entire second period before earning an escape and takedown in the third and ended the match at the 5:23 mark. Onufer never trailed against Resnick, as he posted takedowns in the first and third periods to claim the easy win.

"Shane should be excited about the opportunity to wrestle Howe," Branch said. "Shane wrestled well today and needs to come out with some confidence tomorrow morning."

Fifth-seeded Joe LeBlanc pursuit of a third-consecutive All-America honor hit a bump when he lost to 12th-seeded Grant Gambrall of Iowa, 8-3, in the second round. The junior battled from behind the entire match and tied it at three with 1:05 left, but the Hawkeye was able to escape with 37 seconds to go and claimed a late takedown and backpoints. LeBlanc also fell behind early in his first-round match against Purdue's AJ Kissel, but he rallied with a reversal in the second period and ended the match with a pin at the 6:41 mark.

Junior Michael Martinez (125), senior Cole Dallaserra (149) and redshirt freshman Patrick Martinez (174) all lost in the opening round during the morning session, but bounced back with a victory in the night session. Michael lost a 6-2 decision to Rutgers' Joseph Langel before earning a 7-2 decision against Liberty's Robert Jillard, while Dallaserra lost 4-2 to Oregon State's Scott Sakaguchi but pinned Old Dominion's Joey Metzler in 1:55. Patrick lost, 10-3, to Minnesota's Scott Glasser, but added to his team-leading total in major decisions with a 12-3 major of Liberty's Royal Brettrager.

"Michael, Pat and Cole came back and wrestled the way we expect them to," Branch said. "The consolation side is a dogfight. Every match could be their last, so they've got to come out focused tomorrow."

Wrestling in his first national tournament, Lee Helbig went 0-2 at 197 pounds. He lost a 10-1 major decision to eighth-seeded Matt Powless of Indiana and a 14-4 major decision to Michigan's Anthony Biondo.

Action resumes tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. MT.

2011 NCAA Championships
Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, Pa.
Attendance: 34,578
Day One Results

Team Points
1. Penn State - 30.5
2. Cornell - 29
T3. Iowa - 25
T3. Oklahoma State - 25
5. American - 23.5

Wyoming Results
125 Pounds

Joseph Langel (Rutgers) by dec. over Michael Martinez (UW), 6-2 (Thurs.)
Michael Martinez (UW) by dec. over Robert Jillard (Liberty), 7-2 (Thurs.)

149 Pounds
Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State) by dec. over Cole Dallaserra (UW), 4-2 (Thurs.)
Cole Dallaserra (UW) by fall over Joey Metzler (Old Dominion), 1:55 (Thurs.)

165 Pounds
#7 Shane Onufer (UW) by fall over Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Citadel), 5:33 (Thurs.)
#7 Shane Onufer (UW) by dec. over Jim Resnick (Rider), 6-0 (Thurs.)

174 Pounds
Scott Glasser (Minnesota) by dec. over Patrick Martinez (UW), 10-3 (Thurs.)
Patrick Martinez (UW) by major dec. over Royal Brettrager (Liberty), 12-3 (Thurs.)

184 Pounds
#5 Joe LeBlanc (UW) by fall over AJ Kissel (Purdue), 6:41 (Thurs.)
#12 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) by decision over #5 Joe LeBlanc (UW), 8-3 (Thurs.)

197 Pounds
#8 Matt Powless (Indiana) by major dec. over LJ Helbig (UW), 10-1 (Thurs.)
Anthony Biondo (Michigan) by major dec. over LJ Helbig (UW), 14-4 (Thurs.)