Pokes Square Off With Bison On Senior Day

Jan. 24, 2013


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In what will be the last dual in Laramie for five University of Wyoming seniors, the Cowboy wrestlers face North Dakota State on Sunday in the UniWyo Sports Complex.

The 14th-ranked Cowboys will take on the Bison of the Western Wrestling Conference in a league battle. Wyoming leads the WWC with a 2-0 record (7-3 overall), while NDSU is 5-7 and 0-0 in the WWC. Matches begin at 2 p.m.

Senior sendoff
Sunday's matches mark the final dual in Laramie for five seniors in the Cowboy program. Seniors McCade Ford, Kasey Garnhart, L.J. Helbig, Alfonso Hernandez and Michael Poulos will be honored prior to the first match to thank them for their years of dedication.

UW career record/Worth noting
Ford: 19-25 (Was a two-time NJCAA All-America honoree prior to wrestling for UW)
Garnhart: 52-41 (Has wrestled at four weights for Cowboys)
Helbig: 76-54 (Was a 2011 NCAA qualifier at 197 pounds)
Hernandez: 111-44 (No. 10 in UW history in total wins, one-time All-America honoree)
Poulos: 18-30 (Named to WWC Coaches' Honor Roll three-straight years)

A look at the Cowboys
Wyoming, ranked 14th in the latest NWCA/USA Today/AWN dual poll, heads into Sunday's event with momentum, fresh off a 21-13 win over South Dakota State on Jan. 20. UW led throughout the contest, winning six of 10 matches versus the Jackrabbits.

Two Cowboys are in the Amateur Wrestling News polls this week, with sophomore Andy McCulley (13th at 157 pounds) and Hernandez, who is fourth at 197.

A look at the Bison
Although not in any dual rankings, NDSU is No. 22 in the nation by InterMat, a tournament-based ranking. The program also has two top-10 wrestlers in 125-pounder Trent Sprenkle (No. 6) and 165-pound Steven Monk, who is sixth.

In its latest action, NDSU lost to seventh-ranked Missouri on Jan. 19, 37-7.

Last meeting/series history
Wyoming won the most recent meeting on Feb. 17, 2012, beating NDSU 31-6. In 12 meetings since 1990, the Cowboys have gone 8-4 versus the Bison.

Panel Rankings
Four Cowboys are featured in the first of three Division I Wrestling Coaches' Panel Rankings, released Thursday. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Among those listed in the top 33: sophomore Tyler Cox, 21st at 125 pounds; sophomore Andy McCulley, 14th at 157; sophomore Shane Woods, 31st at 184; and Hernandez, fourth at 197.

Probable lineup
Wyoming wrestler listed first
125 pounds: Tyler Cox, So. (24-7) vs. No. 6 Trent Sprenkle, Sr. (21-2)
133: Kasey Garnhart, Sr. (9-10) vs. Josh Rodriguez, Fr. (18-11)
141: McCade Ford, Sr. (10-12) OR Kyle Komata, Jr. (10-9) OR Zach Zehner, So. (15-5) vs. Mark Erickson, Sr. (13-12)
149: Brandon Richardson, So. (10-14) vs. Joe Garner, Sr. (13-12)
157: No. 13 Andy McCulley, So. (22-6) vs. Tanner Carlisle, RFr. (0-0) OR Hayden Zillmer, RFr. (9-8)
165: Dakota Friesth, So. (12-15) vs. No. 6 Steven Monk, Jr. (25-3)
174: L.J. Helbig, Sr. (17-8) OR Michael Poulos, Sr. (5-10) vs. Kurtis Julson, So. (11-12)
184: Shane Woods, So. (20-10) vs. Mac Stoll, Sr. (12-7)
197: No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez, Sr. (26-1) vs. Kallen Kleinschmidt, Sr. (8-11)
285: Leland Pfeifer, So. (1-5) vs. John Gusewelle, So. (9-12) OR Evan Knutson, So. (11-11)