UW Grapplers Finish Competition at Las Vegas Invite

Dec. 3, 2005


The University of Wyoming wrestling team finished up competition at the Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday. This tournament is regarded as the preseason national championship and premieres the best wrestlers across the nation.

Senior Bryce Leonhardt was the only Cowboy to survive the first day of competition. He did this with a 12-2 major decision over Alan Marvin of South Dakota State and a 2-1 victory against Jeff Sato of Colombia. In his final match on Friday, he went up against the #13 ranked 125 pounder in the country in Jeremy Mendoza of Arizona State. Leonhardt fought to the final bell, but just came short in a 3-1 decision. Then in his first match on Saturday morning he suffered an injury that made forfeit his match.

In the 133 pound bracket for the Pokes was senior Tyson Shatto. In his first bout, the senior fell short as he lost in the final seconds to Mike Mormie of Cornell in a 8-4 decision. He then rallied back to pick up a major decision victory over Michael Arias of The Citadel 17-4. He would advance in the next round when his opponent was forced to forfeit due to injury. His next opponent was Reece Humphrey of Ohio State who proved to be just a little too much for Shatto, as he ended his tournament with a 9-4 decision.

Another Cowboy who managed some success was senior Malcolm Havens. The 197 pounder came out hot winning his first two matches against Jim Gibson of Edinboro 10-5 and Greg Thompson of Lassen College 2-0. He then drew the #14 ranked 197 pounder in the country in Ryan Bader. Havens battled with Bader throughout the bout, but just came up short in a 6-2 decision. Next up was Brent Jones of Virginia who was able to pin Havens at the 1:59 mark.

Junior Gary Dack picked up an early victory in the 165 pound bracket when he defeated Shawn Kitchner of Brown in a 9-7 decision. However, Dack was not able to keep that momentum going as he lost to Evan Copeland of Adams State 8-2 and was pinned at the 3:54 mark by Rob Maxwell of Cal Poly.

In his first Las Vegas Invitational, freshman Shay Lawrence was able to record a victory. After losing to John Manarte of Hofstra 9-5, the freshman came back to beat Jordan Brock from Boise State 4-2. His tournament then came to an end when he was pinned by Jason Cook of Purdue in 4:22.

Redshirt Freshman Preston Pavich recorded his first victory of the year when he pinned Matt Maciag of Wisconsin at the 2:27 mark. Pavich finished the tournament with a 1-2 record.

Other Cowboys competing in the tournament were sophomores Kyle Dye and Jason Still, and redshirt freshman Dan Barrone. Unfortunately, these Pokes were unable to come away with a victory in their respective weight classes.

"This is such an incredibly tough tournament," said UW head coach Steven Suder. "We had flashes of really good things and flashes of discouraging things. We had some mental errors that costed us some matches, but I think we can learn from these and in the long run will make us better."

The Cowboys will continue competition when they face Fresno State next Saturday. The December 10th dual will be in Fresno, Calif. at 3:00 p.m.

***see complete Las Vegas Invite results at www.escapesports.com***