Nov. 15, 2003
Laramie, Wyo. - The University ofWyoming wrestling team opened up the 2003-04 season with the 31st Cowboy Open Saturday at the War Memorial Fieldhouse. Over 15 collegiate programs participated in the tournament, which featured two divisions of competition.
Five Cowboys wrestled their way into the finals of their respective weight classes. In Division I action, senior Levi Prevost took home his second consecutive Cowboy Open title at 165 pounds winning five matches on Saturday. Prevost recorded one pin and one major decision. Andrew Shuler also got his senior season off on the right foot as he claimed the top spot in the 157 pound weight class. Shuler went undefeated on Saturday and won his championship bout 9-6 over Stryder Davis of Montana State-Northern.
Sophomore Bryce Leonhardt took second place in the 125pound division going 2-1 on the day. Leonhardt won his first two matches of the day defeating Ryan Stevens of Utah Valley State College by major decision, 11-1, and downing Clint Wolfley of Boise State 7-3. Heath McKim of Air Force prevailed in the championship match, defeating Leonhardt 4-2. Another Cowboy sophomore finished second in the tournament. 184 pounder Sam Wendland finished the day with a 3-1 record. Wendland recorded one of his victories by major decision.
Senior Blake Gunter claimed third place at 141 pounds.Gunter lost his semifinal match to Jesse Brock of BoiseState 3-1, but bounced back to take the consolation championship and finish the day with four victories.
In the under 20 division, redshirt freshman Rickey Robbins notched second place honors. Robbins won his opening round match against Brian Fritchman of Boise State by fall, 1:15 and Maine Adre of Colby Community College 4-2. He was defeated by Reece Hopkin of the Bear Wrestling Club in the 197 pound championship match. Freshman Clinton Stout lost his opening round match but came back to win three consecutive matches to claim 4th place going 3-2 on the day.
"I always go into this first tournament expecting to seethese guys pick up where they left off last March, and Iknow that is unrealistic," said UW head coach StevenSuder.
However, in a few cases guys looked better than they didlast March, and that is pleasing. Our guys are picking upthe things we have been asking of them in practice and thatit satisfying as well."
"I don't think there was a guy on our team today whodidn't give it everything they had every time out, andthey know that is all that is expected of them."
The Cowboys will be back in tournament action next weekwhen they travel to Omaha, Neb. on Nov. 22nd for the Nebraska-Omaha Open.