Day One In The Books For Pokes At Las Vegas Invitational

Dec. 6, 2013

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Some solid performances allowed five University of Wyoming wrestlers to advance in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational tournament Friday in Las Vegas. The Pokes sit in eighth place with 45 points, trailing sixth-place Virginia and Ohio State by just 10 points.

Two Cowboys, junior Tyler Cox and redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh, are headed to the semifinals Saturday after posting perfect 3-0 marks on Day One. Three Cowboys are alive in the consolation brackets and will chase third-place finishes Saturday.

"It was a good, tough day of wrestling. We had some kids wrestle really great and overall as a team, we looked much improved since the last time we competed," Wyoming coach Mark Branch. "Our kids came out and wrestled hard. When there's top competition like we're facing, there's going to be good and bad. I think overall we wrestled well, but we left a little bit of meat on the bone. It was a good learning experience and we're excited to be moving forward tomorrow with five guys."

Cox, ranked sixth, went 3-0 with two bonus-point wins in the 125-pound bracket to move on to the semifinals. Now 13-0 for the season, he hopes to finish higher than last season, a sixth-place showing.

Redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh ended his day with a dominating 17-3 major decision over Northern Iowa's Kyle Lux to secure a spot in the 184 semifinals. Stroh won his 10th match of the year and is ranked 18th in the country.

The three Pokes battling back in the wrestlebacks include junior Brandon Richardson, junior Dakota Friesth and junior Shane Woods.

Richardson recovered from a first-round loss to post three-straight wins to move on to 149 consolations Saturday. Friesth also was 3-1 with three major decisions at 165, and Woods went 2-1 with his lone loss coming to the second-ranked wrestler in the nation.

Three redshirt freshmen, including Drew Templeman (133), Cole Mendenhall (141) and Brent Havlik (174) each went 1-2 in their respective weights. Junior Andy McCulley was 2-2 at 157, and junior Leland Pfeifer was 0-2 at heavyweight.

Action picks back up at 10 a.m. Saturday with round four of consolations, while semifinals begin at 11 a.m.

Day One results
Junior Tyler Cox, 125 pounds (3-0)
Cox maj. dec. Vincent Moita (Brown), 16-4
Cox dec. Scott Delvecchio (Rutgers), 9-4
Cox fall (6:09) Nick Roberts (Ohio State)

Redshirt freshman Drew Templeman, 133 pounds (1-2)
Greg Rinker (Air Force) dec. Templeman, 6-4
Templeman dec. Tim Urenda (Colorado State-Pueblo), 9-2
Jose Mendoza (CSU Bakersfield) maj. dec. Templeman, 14-4

Redshirt freshman Cole Mendenhall, 141 pounds (1-2)
Mendenhall fall (0:56) Colton Shorts (Cal Poly)
No. 20 Anthony Abidin (Nebraska) dec. Mendenhall, 10-6
Gabe Moreno (Iowa State) dec. Mendenhall, 5-3

Junior Brandon Richardson, 149 pounds (3-1)
Brian Hamann (N.C. State) dec. Richardson, 3-0
Richardson dec. Trevor Willson (Utah Valley), 2-1
Richardson fall (5:00) Ken Theobold (Rutgers)
Richardson dec. Gunner Wolfensperger (Northern Iowa), 9-3

Junior Andy McCulley, 157 pounds (2-2)
McCulley tech. fall Dixon Richins (Western Wyoming), 17-1
Brian Murphy (Michigan) dec. McCulley, 7-5 SV1
McCulley med. def. Jarrett Jensen (Northern Iowa)
Paul Hancock (Army) dec. McCulley, 11-10

Junior Dakota Friesth, 165 pounds (3-1)
Friesth maj. dec. Sohrab Movahedi (Cal Poly), 8-0
No. 16 Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa) dec. Friesth, 6-2
Friesth maj. dec. Vincent Aboytes (San Francisco State), 12-4
Friesth maj. dec. David Meza (CSU Bakersfield), 16-2

Redshirt freshman Brent Havlik, 174 pounds (1-2)
Eric Morris (Harvard) dec. Havlik, 8-2
Havlik dec. Richard McDonald (Brown), 3-2
No. 17 Cody Caldwell (Northern Iowa) dec. Havlik, 6-0

Redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh, 184 pounds (3-0)
Stroh fall (2:39) Jack Duane (The Citadel)
Stroh dec. Cameron Croy (Harvard), 4-0
Stroh maj. dec. Kyle Lux (Northern Iowa), 17-3

Junior Shane Woods, 197 pounds (2-1)
Woods maj. dec. Andrew Reggi (San Francisco State), 11-1
Woods dec. Basil Minto (Northern Iowa), 2-0
No. 2 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) dec. Woods, 5-1

Junior Leland Pfeifer, 285 pounds (0-2)
No. 19 Adam Coon (Michigan) fall (2:12) Pfeifer
Spencer Empey (Cal Poly) dec. Pfeifer, 7-3