Cowboys Crown Two En Route To Winning Reno Team Title

Dec. 21, 2014

RENO, Nev. - For only the second time in program history, the University of Wyoming wrestling program won the team title in the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday.

Thanks to seven place-winners, Wyoming racked up 134 points to outdistance Stanford and Oregon State, each of which tallied 102.5 points. UW's other team title in the event came in 2010.

"I told the guys in a tournament, every coach evaluates it the same way - you look at the good and bad," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "I will say I was surprised at our margin of victory. I thought we were competing enough to be in it, but after seeing the final scores, you just see how tough of a tournament it was.

"We're really excited to end the semester this way. We wanted to come in and compete and it's a good victory for our team."

Senior Tyler Cox made it three-straight RTOC crowns, helping the Pokes to their first-place finish. He went 5-0 and upended 12th-ranked Evan Silver of Stanford in the title bout, 3-1. He now has 101 victories, good for No. 14 in UW history in career wins.

Senior Shane Woods earned his first Reno crown after going 5-0 with three major decisions at 197 pounds.

"They both wrestled very smart and they managed their matches well," Branch said of Cox and Woods. "They weren't blowing guys out of the water, but they were very much in control. Every weight had some good kids. All the winners had to really earn it."

At 165 pounds, senior Dakota Friesth was 4-1 to finish second. He placed third in 2013. Senior Andy McCulley ended up second at 174 pounds, finishing as the runner-up for the third-straight season. He dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 10 Cody Walters of Ohio, surrendering a takedown with less than 30 seconds left.

Other standouts for UW included sophomores Benjamin Stroh and Jake Elliott. Stroh was third at 184 pounds, going 5-1 with two falls. He placed after winning the event in 2013. Elliott placed fourth at 149 pounds, winning six bouts with one major decision. Junior Tanner Harms was 5-2, including two pins, at heavyweight to place fifth.

The Pokes have a bit of a break before the next competition, as they'll travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the two-day Southern Scuffle tournament. Action begins Jan. 1 and runs through Jan. 2.

Tournament results (W/L)
125 pounds: #9/10/11 Tyler Cox (5-0, 1 major decision, 1 fall) - First place
133: Drew Templeman (4-2, 1 technical fall, 1 fall)
141: Cole Mendenhall (2-2)
149: Jake Elliott (6-2, 1 major decision) - Fourth place
157: Archie Colgan (5-2, 2 technical falls, 2 falls)
157: Brandon Richardson (2-2)
165: #NR/20/17 Dakota Friesth (4-1) - Second place
165: Kyle Pope (1-2, 1 technical fall)
174: Jace Jensen (1-2)
174: Andy McCulley (4-1, 1 major decision, 1 fall) - Second place
184: #15/16/19 Benjamin Stroh (5-1, 1 technical fall, 2 falls) - Third place
197: Brandon Tribble (1-2)
197: #19/17/12 Shane Woods (5-0, 3 major decisions) - First place
285: #16/NR/NR Tanner Harms (5-2, 2 falls) - Fifth place
285: Leland Pfeifer (1-2)