Nov. 12, 2000
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming servedas host to the Cowboy Open wrestling tournament Sunday in War MemorialFieldhouse. The Cowboys hosted a variety of schools from throughout theregion in the all day tournament.
Wyoming had three individuals in Division I championship matches. At174 pounds senior Steven Schenk was defeated by Terry Parham of AirForce in a close, hard-fought match. Schenk ripped his way through thebracket by going 3-0 into the championship match, including one pin. Atheavyweight Cowboy sophomore Brad Steele lost his championship match to#12 ranked Bart Johnson of Boise State 6-5. Steele led the match 5-4 inthe third period, but a takedown by Johnson earned him the victory.Junior Kelly McConville was the third Wyoming individual in achampionship match. McConville fell to Brian Luna of Southern Coloradoin the 133 pound title match. Luna was named the tournament MostOutstanding Wrestler.
A number of youngsters on the Poke roster looked strong in the firstaction of the season. At 184 pounds freshman Kevin Kessner finishedfourth, showing lots of promise. The Rock Springs native lost histhird-place match to Sam Sherertz of Air Force 3-2. Thad Trujillo wasimpressive, wrestling in the 141 pound weight class. Trujillo placedfourth by going 3-2.
In the 20 and under bracket Wyoming freshman Brady Nielsen was third,winning the third-place match by fall at 3:07 over Brionne Tonkin ofNorthern Colorado.
"There were a couple of new guys who we're going to be counting on thatI was really encouraged with," said Wyoming head coach Steven Suder."Sure, I would have liked to have had more guys in the finals, but Ifeel real comfortable with where we're at in light of what we've beenworking on. The great thing about this tournament is now we have abunch of ammo to go into the wrestling room with. We've got some thingsto work on, but this was a step we needed to get there. This is aprocess and I think we're on the right track."
Along with Brian Luna being named Most Outstanding Wrestler, MikeWhitehead of North Idaho College was given the Most Falls Award.Whitehead had two falls in 4:27 to win the award.
The next action for the Cowboys is Nov. 17 when they dual against theUniversity of Nebraska in Lincoln. The next day Wyoming will compete inthe University of Nebraska-Omaha Open.