Nov. 8, 2008
POWELL, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team sent the majority of their squad to Powell, Wyo., on Saturday to compete in the Northwest Wyoming College tournament. UW was extremely successful at the event by winning seven weight classes, earning four runner-up spots, putting three wrestlers in third place and two `Pokes in fourth position.
"It was a busy day and the guys wrestled a lot of matches," said Wyoming head coach Mark Branch. "That is what we wanted. It was good for us as a coaching staff to evaluate and it was good for the guys to get a feel for where they are at.
"Overall I was pleased. Our team actually matched up against each other quite a bit and there were a lot of good things out there, but there are also plenty of things we need to improve on.
"There were several guys who got behind in their matches and had to work their way back. Some won and some came up a little short, but that is what I expect from all of them. They kept coming and that was good to see."
The Cowboys won their brackets at seven different weight classes, with UW wrestlers going head-to-head four times in the finals. Redshirt freshman Michael Martinez won his second straight tournament at 125 pounds, while sophomore Cole Dallaserra and junior Cory VomBaur were to meet in the 141 pound final, but the UW coaches chose not to have them wrestle. Other titles came from redshirt freshman Brock Smith at 157 and senior Eric Coxbill at 165. Redshirt freshmen Shane Onufer and Joe LeBlanc remained undefeated en route to winning titles at 174 and 184 respectively, while true freshman Alfonso Hernandez came out on top in the 197 pound division.
Other top-four finishes by UW wrestlers included: second place by Mikel Hoopes, Mikah Kadera and Alex Rieder; third place by Kasey Garnhart, Eric Jones and Jacob Scharbrough; fourth place by Cody Chipperfield and Dane Fuhrman.
Wyoming will begin the home portion of their schedule this next week when they host Pac-10 school Stanford on Friday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. in the UniWyo Sports Complex. UW will then hold the annual Cowboy Open tournament, all day on Saturday, Nov. 15 in War Memorial Fieldhouse.