Five Titles for Wyoming Wrestling at the Cowboy Open

Nov. 14, 2009


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Plenty of Wyoming Cowboy wrestlers won multiple matches on Saturday at the 37th annual Cowboy Open in UW's War Memorial Fieldhouse, however five `Pokes sauntered all the way to the top of their brackets and won individual titles at their home tournament. The event is sponsored by UniWyo Federal Credit Union.

A total of 10 UW student-athletes placed in the top-three of their weight groups. Wyoming also won Outstanding Wrestler awards in both the Elite and Amateur divisions, sophomore Joe LeBlanc and freshman Tyler Cox respectively.

"As a whole we wrestled harder today," head coach Mark Branch said. "I want perfection and we still did not wrestle technically well, but we did come out and compete.

"We struggled on bottom, which is disappointing because we have spent a lot of time on that this preseason. The team should expect to spend more time on that in the weeks to come.

"There is a group of our guys wrestling with the attitude that I want, so hopefully the rest of the team takes notice and learns from the example of their peers. That is a great way to learn."

No. 5-ranked LeBlanc led the UW team by example at the Elite 184-pound level. He simply dominated his competition, going 4-0 en route to his weight class win with all four wins coming by way of technical fall. LeBlanc beat Charlie Pipher of Western State College by a score of 16-1 in the final.

Sophomore and No. 17-ranked Michael Martinez was one of the Cowboys who competed with the fire that Branch looks for, and in doing so won the 125-pound Elite weight class. Martinez was 4-0 and recorded three major decisions on the day. In the finals he got one of the biggest wins of his young career, beating No. 9-ranked Ben Kjar of Utah Valley by sudden victory decision 5-3. After forcing the pace in the closing minutes, Martinez earned the decisive takedown near the edge of the mat late in the overtime period.

Cox, a UW freshman who will redshirt this season and competed unattached, had little difficulty winning the Amateur 125-pound bracket. Cox wowed the crowd with his array of moves, going 5-0 and winning one match by technical fall and one by major decision. He beat Jesse Hillhouse from Northwest College, 2-1 in the final.

Junior Cole Dallaserra looked strong in every match on his way to the Elite title at 149 pounds. Dallaserra, 5-0, had a win by fall, a technical fall and a major decision to his credit. He beat T.J. Hepburn from Nebraska-Kearney by a score of 7-3 in the final.

No. 19-ranked Shane Onufer, UW sophomore at 165 pounds, posted a perfect 4-0 record with one pin and two major decisions. Onufer beat Northern Colorado's Justin Gaethje, 3-2 in their Elite title bout. With the match tied 2-2 heading into the final period, he dominated physically on top and rode Gaethje the entire period to earn a riding point and the win. It was Onufer's second consecutive Cowboy Open title, winning last year at 174 pounds.

The Cowboy team will travel to the East Coast next weekend for two days of competition. They will compete in the Body Bar Classic in Ithaca, N.Y. on Saturday, Nov. 21, and then dual Michigan State and West Virginia the following day in Binghamton, N.Y. at the Sprawl & Brawl.

Wyoming Wrestlers (Tournament Record), Place (Top-3)

  • 125 pounds - No. 17 Michael Martinez (4-0, three major decisions), First
  • 133 pounds - Kasey Garnhart (3-2, fall)
  • 141 pounds - Chase Smith (5-2, major decision)
  • 141 pounds - Cory VomBaur (3-2)
  • 149 pounds - Cole Dallaserra (5-0, fall, technical fall, major decision), First
  • 157 pounds - Tyler Davis (3-2, major decision)
  • 157 pounds - Eric Jones (3-1, two falls), Second
  • 157 pounds - Mikah Kadera (3-2)
  • 165 pounds - No. 19 Shane Onufer (4-0, fall, two major decisions), First
  • 174 pounds - Dallas Hintz (1-2)
  • 174 pounds - Alex Rieder (3-2, technical fall, major decision)
  • 174 pounds - Brock Smith (3-2, major decision)
  • 184 pounds - No. 5 Joe LeBlanc (4-0, four technical falls), First
  • 197 pounds - Lee Helbig (3-2, fall, two major decisions)
  • 197 pounds - Alfonso Hernandez (4-1, major decision), Third
  • 197 pounds - Joe O'Farrell (2-2, fall)
  • Hwt. (285) - Matthew McLaughlin (3-1, fall), Second
  • 125 pounds - Tyler Cox (5-0, technical fall, major decision), First
  • 133 pounds - Jake Eitzen (2-2, technical fall)
  • 133 pounds - Kyle Komata (4-2, two major decisions)
  • 141 pounds - Colton Zier (1-2, technical fall)
  • 149 pounds - Jimmy Belleville (4-1, two falls, major decision), Second
  • 165 pounds - Patrick Martinez (3-1, major decision), Second