UW Grapplers to Host Northern Colorado on Friday in WWC Opener

Jan. 14, 2010


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The Wyoming Cowboy wrestlers will return home to the UniWyo Sports Complex in Laramie this Friday, Jan. 15, for a big Western Wrestling Conference dual against much-improved rival Northern Colorado. The match will begin at 7 p.m.

While the `Pokes are 4-2 in duals this year, the Bears are a deceiving 1-8.

UNCo. has very good talent at the 125-pound weight class with three-time NCAA qualifier, senior Tony Mustari; at the 141-pound level with 2007 NCAA qualifier, No. 20-ranked and senior Kenny Hashimoto; as well as at 157 pounds where junior Justin Gaethje has been in and out of the national rankings all season. Hashimoto has been injured during the past month and is questionable for the dual.

This will be the 74th meeting between the two Front Range wrestling squads, which is the most against any opponent for the UW program. Wyoming leads the all-time series 43-29-1. The last time the two teams matched up was Feb. 25, 2009, in Greeley. The Cowboys narrowly escaped with a 21-15 win. The Bears placed third (70 points) at the 2009 West Regional/WWC Tournament, while the `Pokes placed second (92.5).

Common opponents for the Cowboys and Bears this season include Stanford and Oregon State. UW beat the Cardinal (25-9) and lost to the Beavers (28-8), while UNCo. fell to Stanford (34-5) and also lost to Oregon State (48-0).

Following that home dual, and for the second week in a row, UW will immediately head out on the road, traveling east on I-80 to face the No. 25-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 1 p.m. (MT).

- Winning Big - Three Wyoming sophomores are winning often and earning big bonus points along the way. No. 6-ranked Joe LeBlanc (184 pounds) has an overall record of 24-3 with an incredible 19 bonus point margins. Nine of his wins have come by technical fall, seven by way of fall and three by major decision. No. 11 Michael Martinez (125) has an overall record of 20-5 with seven of those wins coming by way of major decision, two by technical fall. No. 9 Shane Onufer (165) is 16-4 overall with five pins and five major decisions.

- 50 Career Wins - Five Cowboys currently on the roster have accumulated 50-plus wins in their UW careers. Senior Cory VomBaur has 73, while LeBlanc (69 wins), Onufer (60) and Martinez (58) have each eclipsed that landmark in only their second year. Junior Cole Dallaserra (53) joined the group with a victory by fall at the Las Vegas Invite.

Probable Friday Night Match-Ups

  • 125 - (WYO) No. 11 Michael Martinez, So., 20-5
    vs. (UNCo.) Tony Mustari, Sr., 11-9
  • 133 - (WYO) Kasey Garnhart, RFr., 16-12 or Cory VomBaur, Sr., 10-5
    vs. (UNCo.) Casey Cruz, So., 12-5
  • 141 - (WYO) Chase Smith, So., 18-8
    vs. (UNCo.) No. 20 Kenny Hashimoto, Sr., 11-3
  • 149 - (WYO) Cole Dallaserra, Jr., 14-8
    vs. (UNCo.) Justin Gonzales, Fr., 2-1
  • 157 - (WYO) Mikah Kadera, So., 12-16
    vs. (UNCo.) Justin Gaethje, Jr., 18-9
  • 165 - (WYO) No. 9 Shane Onufer, So., 16-4
    vs. (UNCo.) Patrick Prentice, Fr., 2-5
  • 174 - (WYO) Brock Smith, So., 15-8
    vs. (UNCo.) Brandon Kammerzell, So., 10-10
  • 184 - (WYO) No. 6 Joe LeBlanc, So., 24-3
    vs. (UNCo.) Eric Brennan, Jr., 6-12
  • 197 - (WYO) L.J. Helbig, RFr., 14-9 or Alfonso Hernandez, So., 14-11
    vs. (UNCo.) Open
  • Hwt. - (WYO) L.J. Helbig, RFr., 14-9 or Alfonso Hernandez, So., 14-11
    vs. (UNCo.) Justin Tuell, Sr., 5-11