Two Pokes Advance To Semifinals In Las Vegas

Nov. 30, 2012


Brackets Get Acrobat Reader

Two University of Wyoming wrestlers went undefeated Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.

Sophomore Andy McCulley had the best day of any Cowboy wrestler, earning three wins at 157 pounds, including an upset of the 15th-ranked wrestler in the nation. McCulley now is 11-1 for the season with six pins, and will face Oregon State's Roger Pena, ranked 18th, in the semifinals.

Senior Alfonso Hernandez went 2-0 with one win over a ranked wrestler at 197 pounds. With his two wins, Hernandez is one victory away from tying for 15th on the UW all-time career wins list with 98. He is just 14 away from entering the top 10. He will face Missouri's Brent Haynes, ranked fifth, in the semifinals.

In the team standings, Wyoming is ninth with 34.5 points.

Sophomore Tyler Cox made it to the quarterfinals at 125 pounds, but dropped an 11-4 decision to the No. 10 wrestler in the nation. Cox, who went 2-1, will take on CSU Bakersfield's Tyler Iwamura in the consolation quarterfinals on Saturday.

Redshirt freshman Tanner Harms (2-2) and senior Kasey Garnhart (1-2) each won matches in the consolation brackets, but ended the day with a loss. Senior McCade Ford (1-2) and sophomore Dakota Friesth (1-2) finished their day in the consolation brackets.

Three UW wrestlers (Brandon Richardson, L.J. Helbig and Shane Woods) finished the tournament with no wins and two losses.

"We had mixed results today and in a tournament as tough as this you have to bring your A game and too many of us did not," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. "You have to impose your wrestling style on your opponent and leave it all on the mat and Andy did that and that is how you upset people.

"We had guys that weren't ready to put it on the line and you just can't beat good opposition if you hold anything back. (Alfonso) wrestled well and he will face some tough challenges tomorrow but I know he is ready for those challenges. Cox was disappointed in his quarterfinal results but I feel good that he walked off the mat a better wrestler and if he uses that growth tomorrow, he will have favorable results. We can be better and we need to be better and I have challenged this team to dig deeper."

Action continues Saturday with semifinals, consolations and finals. Semifinals begin at 11 a.m. and finals begin at 4 p.m. MT.

125 pounds: Tyler Cox (2-1, 1 major decision, 1 technical fall)
133: Kasey Garnhart (1-2)
141: McCade Ford (1-2)
149: Brandon Richardson (0-2)
157: Andy McCulley (3-0, 1 TF, 1 fall)
165: Dakota Friesth (1-2, 1 F)
174: L.J. Helbig (0-2)
184: Shane Woods (0-2)
197: Alfonso Hernandez (2-0, 1 TF)
285: Tanner Harms (2-2)