Nov. 11, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Two Cowboy grapplers took home first place honors and two Cowboys earned third place honors as the Wyoming Cowboys hosted the 34th annual Cowboy Open on Saturday in War Memorial Fieldhouse at the University of Wyoming.
Redshirt senior Samuel Wendland took first place in the Elite Division at 197 pounds winning five straight matches to clinch the championship.
"Sam had a solid tournament," head coach Steven Suder said. "Those were the five most consistent matches I have seen him wrestle," Suder continued. "He needed to taste that."
Freshman Jake Smith won the championship in the Amateur Division at 197 pounds winning five straight matches as well.
"It's a cool thing to win your very first college tournament ever," Suder said. "Jake was nervous at the very beginning, but as the day wore on he began to calm down and realize that he could win this tournament. He did a great job of growing up in the process."
Three more Cowboys made it to the consolation championship matches. Junior Carter Downing lost his first match of the day, but worked his way through the wrestlebacks and took third place in the Elite Division at 149 pounds. Redshirt freshman Cory VomBaur wrestled well and took third place for the Pokes in the Elite Division at 133 pounds. Junior Bryan Bernal also made it to the championship matches and took fourth place in the Elite Division at 174 pounds.
"The Cowboy Open is bittersweet from my perspective," Suder added. "You get hit right in the face with a lot of things that you need to work on, but at the same time I saw good things from every wrestler today. This is exactly what we need this early in the season so we can improve on some things."
"The tournament is a success for us every year becasue of the extreme amount of work that is put in by volunteers. We are so appreciative of the hours put forth by the guys from USA wrestling and Myran Hales. We couldn't do this without their tireless efforts."
The Cowboys return to action on Saturday November 18, to compete at the Nebraska-Omaha Open that will run all day.