LARAMIE, Wyo. -
A total team effort keyed a milestone victory for the University of Wyoming wrestling team Thursday, as the Pokes won their 250th home dual in program history with a 34-0 shutout victory over Air Force.
Wyoming (4-2 overall, 1-0 Western Wrestling Conference) put the clamps down on the Falcons early, rolling up wins in all 10 matches in the Western Wrestling Conference opener for both teams. Air Force (0-2 overall, 0-1 WWC) was held without a point in the contest, but did compete without two of its top wrestlers, No. 8 Josh Martinez (125 pounds) and 16th-ranked Jesse Stafford at 165.
Winners of four-consecutive duals this season, including three shutouts, Wyoming now has won seven straight over Air Force and improves to 21-1 all-time against the Falcons in Laramie.
"It wasn't necessarily flashy, and there were a lot of tough matches, which I expected there to be," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "I like that we're continuing to develop on top and we didn't have any major issues on bottom. Overall, a shutout against a conference foe is something you don't take for granted. I've been around long enough to know that shutouts don't come easy against anybody. What we're starting to see is more of a team effort.
"I saw a lot of positive signs. I saw guys making better efforts on top, turning people and being aggressive. That's going to make us more of a complete team."
A bonus-point win in the 125-pound bout began the evening on the right foot for UW. Senior Tyler Cox posted a 21-4 technical fall in the evening's opener to give UW a 5-0 lead, and the Pokes cruised from there.
Decisions from sophomores Drew Templeman, Cole Mendenhall and Jake Elliott gave UW a 14-0 lead. Redshirt freshman Archie Colgan (157) followed up with an 8-3 win, followed by senior Dakota Friesth, who outscored his foe 8-2. Senior Andy McCulley was relentless in an 8-0 major decision at 174, and sophomore Benjamin Stroh kept it rolling with an 8-3 victory.
To cap off the night, two Pokes kept the scoreboard clean, not surrendering a single point to their opponents to end the night. Senior Shane Woods blasted off for a 14-0 major decision at 197, and junior Tanner Harms racked up a 6-0 win at heavyweight to cap the evening off.
UW has a break until its next competition, when the Cowboys compete in the one-day Reno Tournament of Champions in Nevada on Dec. 21.
125 pounds: #10/9/13 Tyler Cox tech. fall (6:35) Cassidy Oshiro (AF), 21-4 / Wyoming 5, Air Force 0
133: Drew Templeman dec. Anthony McHugh (AF), 7-6 / Wyoming 8, Air Force 0
141: Cole Mendenhall dec. Cody Hancock (AF), 5-4 / Wyoming 11, Air Force 0
149: Jake Elliott dec. Gerald McGinty (AF), 2-1 TB1 / Wyoming 14, Air Force 0
157: Archie Colgan dec. Connor Hedash (AF), 8-3 / Wyoming 17, Air Force 0
165: #NR/20/NR Dakota Friesth dec. Michael Billingsley (AF), 8-2 / Wyoming 20, Air Force 0
174: Andy McCulley maj. dec. Scott Reilly (AF), 8-0 / Wyoming 24, Air Force 0
184: #15/17/17 Benjamin Stroh dec. Konner Witt (AF), 8-3 / Wyoming 27, Air Force 0
197: #19/17/14 Shane Woods maj. dec. Jack Carda (AF), 14-0 / Wyoming 31, Air Force 0
285: #16/NR/NR Tanner Harms dec. Marcus Malecek (AF), 6-0 / Wyoming 34, Air Force 0