Pokes Gear Up For Fourth-Ranked Sooners

Jan. 7, 2014


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Another substantial challenge awaits the University of Wyoming wrestling team, as the Pokes play host to the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday.

The details
Matches begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Arena-Auditorium. UW will seek its third-straight win over Oklahoma.

A pre-dual hospitality function will be hosted in the Roach Room in the War Memorial Fieldhouse from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free for Cowboy Joe Club Gold Card members, matside ticket holders and wrestling donors. The cost for CJC Brown Card members and the general public is $5.

The first 500 fans through the doors will receive a "WYO POKES AVE." street sign.

A look at the Cowboys
After starting the season with a win over Boise State, the Cowboys now are 1-4 overall and hope to get back on the winning track. Ranked 23rd in the D1CollegeWrestling.net dual/tournament poll, Wyoming has suffered all four of its losses to top-25 programs.

Ranked wrestlers on the UW roster include junior Tyler Cox, who is rated as high as eighth at 125 pounds. Junior Andy McCulley is 15th at 157, junior Dakota Friesth is 19th at 165 and redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh is 14th at 184.

A look at the Sooners
At 5-0 for the season, No. 4 Oklahoma is considered by many to be a contender for the team title in March at the NCAA Championships.

Ranked wrestlers for OU include No. 5 Jarrod Patterson at 125, No. 12 Nick Lester (141), No. 4 Kendric Maple (149), No. 1 Andrew Howe (174), No. 3 Travis Rutt (197) and 14th-ranked Ross Larson at heavyweight.

Last time/series history
The Pokes won their second-straight dual versus Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 2012, with a 25-13 effort. Looking at a 10-3 deficit after three matches, the Cowboys cranked it up and went on a 22-3 run over the next seven matches to beat No. 10 OU for only the second time in program history. The win gave Wyoming head coach Mark Branch his 50th dual victory.

In 18 meetings, the Cowboys are 2-14-2 against OU. The only two wins for UW have come in the last two meetings between the schools, both in 2012.

The matchups
125: #8/9/NR Tyler Cox vs. #5/5/5 Jarrod Patterson (OU)
133: TBA vs. No. 8/8/8 Cody Brewer (OU)
141: Kyle Komata OR Cole Mendenhall vs. #12/20/14 Nick Lester (OU)
149: Brandon Richardson vs. #4/2/4 Kendric Maple (OU)
157: #18/15/NR Andy McCulley vs. Justin DeAngelis (OU)
165: #NR/NR/19 Dakota Friesth vs. Clark Glass (OU)
174: Brent Havlik OR Jace Jensen vs. #1/1/1 Andrew Howe (OU)
184: #NR/14/20 Benjamin Stroh vs. Danny Chaid (OU)
197: Shane Woods vs. #3/2/2 Travis Rutt (OU)
285: Tanner Harms OR Leland Pfeifer vs. #14/14/14 Ross Larson (OU)

(Rankings based on InterMat/Amateur Wrestling News/D1CollegeWrestling.net polls.)