Senior Stable Wraps up NCAA Championships for Cowboys

March 20, 2015

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -

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Senior Shane Woods picked up two impressive wins in the consolation bracket to lead the University of Wyoming wrestling contingent on Friday at the NCAA Championships in the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. The Cowboys ended the Championships with six points.

"It was a tough day and we knew coming in that there was a tough road ahead of us," head coach Mark Branch said. "You see a lot of things fall into place for people and we just didn't have that, but you really just have to go out and make something happen in a tournament like this."

Woods won his first two matches during the morning session before falling to the second seeded Morgan McIntosh of Penn state in the evening session. Three other senior Cowboys saw their season end with close losses, as Tyler Cox (125 pounds), Dakota Friesth (165 pounds) and Andy McCulley (174 pounds) wrestled their final match in Brown and Gold. The four seniors combined for a total of 408 wins in their career.

Woods opened his day with an impressive win over Phil Wellington of Ohio in the consolation second round. Woods trailed in the match 3-1, but scored five quick points on a takedown and a near fall to take a 6-3 lead. An escape and take down gave him a commanding lead, as he took the match by decision, 12-5. Woods followed that win up with a 12-1 win over Cody Crawford of Oregon State in the third round of the consolation bracket. He jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first with a take down and a three point near fall and he never look back taking his first major decision victory since Feb .1.

"Shane wrestled well and came out strong in his first two matches," Branch said. "He went out and hit an inside-out trip and changed the course of his first match and that helped him dominate in the next match during the first session."

Woods fell to No. 2 McIntosh in the evening session by decision of 8-3. McIntosh record take downs in all three periods against Woods and handed the Tuttle, Okla. native his fifth loss of the season. Woods ended the season with a 34-5 record with all of his losses coming against ranked opponents. He finished his career with 101 wins hitting the century mark with his victory over Wellington.

Cox opened action for the Pokes in the second round of the consolation bracket. Cox fell to No. 10 Ronnie Rios of Oregon State by decision in sudden victory, 3-1. Each wrestler earned escapes in the final two frames, but a takedown with seven seconds remaining in sudden victory gave Rios the win. Cox finished his career with a 112 wins and was an All-American in 2013.

Friesth battled to the end with No. 12 Dylan Palacio of Cornell in the second round of the consolation bracket. Friesth trailed 5-2, but a takedown near the end of the second period put him in striking position. The clock was the enemy late with Friesth nearly getting a take down at the end of the third period to tie the match. He ends his career with the Cowboys as a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier and finished with 91 career wins.

Senior Andy McCulley faced a tough draw in the consolation second round facing off against No. 4 John Eblen of Mizzou. After a scoreless first period, Eblen scored five points in the second frame. He added a late take down in the third and added a riding time point to win by major decision, 8-0. McCulley finished his career with 104 wins and was a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier.

"You live and you learn and it has been a great season and this group has been a tremendous senior class for us," Branch said. "We came close, but you want to get home with All-Americans. It gives me a lot of motivation to improve the program and see where we can get better and improve the program between now and next season.

Wyoming Results

125 pounds: No. 8 seed Tyler Cox - (1-2)
Championship first round: Jesse Delgado (Illinois) dec. Cox, 3-2
Consolation first round: Cox dec. No. 9 Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa), 8-5
Consolation second round: No. 10 Ronnie Rios dec. Cox, 3-1 SV-1

165: Dakota Friesth - (1-2)
Championship first round: No. 6 Taylor Walsh (Indiana) dec. Friesth, 6-5
Consolation first round: Friesth dec. No. 11 Tristan Warner (Old Dominion), 3-2
Consolation second round: No. 12 Dylan Palacio dec. Friesth, 8-6

174: No. 14 seed Andy McCulley - (1-2)
Championship first round: McCulley dec. Jordan Staudenmayer (North Carolina), 9-4
Championship second round: No. 3 Mike Evans dec. McCulley, 3-0
Consolation second round: No. 4 John Eblen major dec. McCulley, 8-0

197: No. 13 seed Shane Woods - (3-2)
Championship first round: Woods dec. Jared Haught (Virginia Tech), 4-2 SV-1
Championship second round: No. 4 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) major dec. Woods, 14-5
Consolation second round: Woods dec. No. 14 Phil Wellington (Ohio), 12-5
Consolation third round: Woods major dec. Cody Crawford (Oregon State), 12-1
Consolation fourth round: No. 2 Morgan McIntosh (Penn State) dec. Woods, 8-3