Nov. 22, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. -
The University of Wyoming wrestling team continued to gain valuable early-season mat time, as the entire squad competed on Saturday at the Kaufman-Brand Open in Omaha, Neb.
The Cowboys had six grapplers, all first or second year student-athletes, place in the top-four of their respective weight classes, led by redshirt freshman Michael Martinez who finished second in the Elite 125-pound Division.
Martinez beat Trent Sprenkle of North Dakota State and Terance Young of Northern Iowa, before facing No.19 ranked Zach Sanders in the finals and narrowly losing by a score of 9-7. Martinez now has a season record of 13-2.
Also competing at the Elite level, UW redshirt freshman Joe LeBlanc placed third at 184 pounds. LeBlanc had a 4-1 record and won four straight after losing his first round match. He had a victory by fall, one by major decision and beat Nebraska's Levi Wofford, 7-4 in the third place match-up. LeBlanc is now 15-2 since the season began.
Four Cowboys took fourth place in their brackets, with redshirt freshman Shane Onufer earning that honor in the Elite Division at 174 pounds. Onufer had a 3-2 record on Saturday and ran his season mark to 16-2.
Redshirt freshmen Tyler Davis (157) and Chase Smith (149) both finished fourth in the Amateur Division. Davis was 5-2 with two pins and one win by major decision. Smith had the most wins of any Wyoming wrestler, going 7-2 with one win by fall and one by technical fall.
UW true freshman Lee Helbig also was in the four-spot, earning five wins against two losses at 184 pounds in the Amateur Division.
The `Pokes will now have a week off from competition before they travel to another large national event, the Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 5-6.