Cowboy Wrestlers Fight Through 2003 Brand-Kaufman Open

Nov. 22, 2003


Seven University ofWyoming wrestlers finished in the top six in theirrespective weight classes Saturday at the 2003 Brand-Kaufman Open in Omaha, Neb. The tournament is one of the most competitive collegiate wrestling tournaments of the season. The open featured two divisions as over 650 wrestlers from 31 schools competed at the event.

Two UW seniors captured third place honors in the Open Division. 165 pounder Levi Prevost went 5-1 on the day, defeating three of his opponents by pin. He suffered his first loss of the season in the semifinals, but responded by winning the consolation championship by pin over M. Fiedler of North Dakota State. Andrew Shuler, competing in the 157 pound weight class, also took third place. He won four matches at the tournament, two by major decisions on route to his consolation championship. Shuler shut out P. Carlson of North Dakota State in the third-fourth place bout 10-0.

In the 141 pound class, Blake Gunter won his first three matches, one by major decision, before being defeated in the semifinals. He bounced back and took fourth place going 4-2 on Saturday. Malcolm Havens captured fifth place in 197 pound competition. The redshirt sophomore won three matches, one by technical fall and one by major decision. Another Cowboy, 125 pounder Bryce Leonhardt, took fifth place. He won five consecutive matches in the consolation bracket, and defeated two of his opponents by pin and major decision.

In the 20 & Under Division, freshman Carter Downing wonfour straight matches at 141 pounds. He collected two pinson the way to a second place finish (Downing had to injury default in the championship match.) Freshman Gary Dack wrestled a total of nine matches in one of the biggest brackets of the tournament. Dack won six of his nine bouts, two by technical fall and one by major decision. His hard-nosed attitude earned him second place and a lot of respect.

"I was very pleased with what I saw today," said UWhead wrestling coach Steven Suder. "Our guys were fightinghard all day. I have not seen the level of intensity thatour guys had today in a while. This tournament has highcaliber competition, and we responded very well."

The Pokes will take a few weeks off before their next competition. They are scheduled to compete at the Cliff Klien Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 5-6 in Las Vegas, Nev.