Conference Action Begins For Wyoming Wrestlers

Jan. 2, 2013


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The beginning of 2013 brings two road events to the forefront for the University of Wyoming wrestling program. On Friday, the Cowboys take on league foe Utah Valley and on Sunday, UW will be part of a five-team dual tournament in California.

The details
Wyoming will wrestle the Wolverines on Friday in Orem, Utah, in the first Western Wrestling Conference dual of the season for both teams. The Cowboys have beaten Utah Valley every season since 2006-07. This year, UVU has gone 1-1. Action begins at 7 p.m. MT from the UVU Activity Center.

On Sunday, the Cowboys will wrestle in the Mustang Duals in San Luis Obispo, Calif. UW takes on San Francisco State at 12:30 p.m. MT, CSU Bakersfield at 2 p.m. and the tournament host, Cal Poly, at 4 p.m. in a dual-format team tournament. San Francisco State is 0-1, CSU Bakersfield is 4-1 and Cal Poly has earned a mark of 1-2. The Pokes own a 3-7 mark against these California schools in school history.

A look at the Cowboys
The Pokes are 2-2 this season, splitting with four ranked opponents. Wyoming owns wins over Boise State and Oklahoma, and losses against Nebraska and Oklahoma State.

Two Cowboys are in the latest national rankings. Senior 197-pounder Alfonso Hernandez is fourth, and sophomore Andy McCulley is ranked 12th at 157 pounds by Amateur Wrestling News. In the team rankings, UW is 25th by InterMat and 17th by WIN Magazine.

The Cowboys have gone 4-0 in WWC openers over the last four seasons. Now in his fifth year at the helm, Wyoming has won 22 conference duals and lost just one under UW head coach Mark Branch.

Here it comes
After having just four duals in the first two months of the season, Friday marks the first of eight duals in January for the Cowboys.

Probable lineup (season record)
125: Tyler Cox, Sophomore, Gillette, Wyo. (19-6)
133: Jake Eitzen, Junior, Estes Park, Colo. (6-7) OR Kasey Garnhart, Senior, Ten Sleep, Wyo. (9-9)
141: McCade Ford, Senior, Payson, Utah (10-11) OR Kyle Komata, Junior, Woodinville, Wash. (7-8)
149: Brandon Richardson, Sophomore, Rathdrum, Idaho (9-9)
157: No. 12 Andy McCulley, Sophomore, Rock Springs, Wyo. (18-4)
165: Dakota Friesth, Sophomore, Adel, Iowa (10-12)
174: L.J. Helbig, Senior, Mason, Mich. (11-8)
184: Shane Woods, Sophomore, Tuttle, Okla. (14-10)
197: No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez, Senior, Blackfoot, Idaho (20-1)
285: Leland Pfeifer, Sophomore, Hulett, Wyo. (0-0)