NEW YORK - Sophomore Bryce Meredith's title run fell just short Saturday evening in the NCAA Championship finals match at 141 pounds. Meredith fell to Oklahoma State's Dean Heil in Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was the first Cowboy to wrestle in the finals since Reese Andy in 1996.
The Cowboys finished 18th in the team standings with 24.5 points. It is the 18th time in school history the Cowboys have finished in the Top-25 at the NCAA Championship. It was the Pokes' highest finish as well as the third top-25 finish under head coach Mark Branch. It was the best team finish for UW since finishing 15th in 1996.
"To be one of twenty guys to compete for a national title is somethings very special," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "It stings and is a challenge to really look at the bigger picture right now. But as a team it is all about scoring points and it was a great team effort to be in the top-20 is something to be proud of. It gives us a lot of motivation to build on that for the future."
Meredith fell to the top-seeded Heil by decision 3-2. In a match between Big 12 Foes, Heil scored the only takedown of the match in the first period. Meredith earned a pair of escapes and Heil added an escape to make the match 3-2 late in the third period. Meredith nearly picked up a fall in the third, but fell just short earning runner-up honors.
"To go out there and compete at the highest level is special and he showed what he is capable of," Branch said. "I told him he can beat anyone in the country and it's exciting to see him use this experience."
Meredith finished the season with a 29-5 record becoming the 32nd All-American selection in Cowboy history and the ninth under head coach Mark Branch. He is also is the eighth All-American from the state of Wyoming and the third equality state native to earn a spot in the finals. His match tonight marked the eighth time in school history that a UW wrestler has wrestled in the finals.
125: Drew Templeman - (1-2)
First Round: No. 8 Barlow McGhee (Mizzou), dec. (3-2) over Templeman
Consolation Bracket First Round: Drew Templeman, dec. (9-7 SV-1) over Shakur Laney (Ohio)
Second Round Consolation: No. 7 Darian Cruz (Lehigh), major dec. (13-5) over Templeman
141: Bryce Meredith - Runner-up (All-American) - 4-1
First Round: No. 14 Bryce Meredith, major dec. (16-3) over Robbie Mathers (Arizona State)
Second Round: No. 14 Bryce Meredith, dec. (5-4) over Kevin Jack (NC State)
Quarterfinals: No. 14 Bryce Meredith, dec. (5-2) over No. 6 Micah Jordan (Ohio State)
Semifinals: No. 14 Bryce Meredith, dec. (5-3) over No. 2 Joey McKenna (Stanford)
Finals: No. 1 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State), dec. (3-2) over No. 14 Bryce Meredith
285: Tanner Harms - (3-2)
First Round: No. 15 Tanner Harms, major dec. (12-2) over Garrett Ryan (Columbia)
Second Round: No. 2 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State), tech fall (26-10) over No. 15 Tanner Harms
Second Round Consolation: No. 15 Tanner Harms, Fall (2:35) over Ray O'Donnell (Princeton)
Third Round Consolation: No. 15 Tanner Harms, Fall (2:00) over Mike Hughes (Hofstra)
Fourth Round Consolation: No. 4 Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State), major dec. (13-5) over No. 15 Tanner Harms