Cowboy Grapplers Set To Host Two Conference Foes

Jan. 26, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Cowboy wrestling program is preparing for a challenging weekend as it welcomes two Western Wrestling Conference opponents for duals.

The details
The action begins at 7 p.m. Friday when Wyoming faces South Dakota State in the UniWyo Sports Complex. After that, the 'Pokes will hit the mats versus North Dakota State, with matches beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices for each dual will be $5 for adults and $3 for children.

The teams
South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits currently are 1-9-1, with their lone win coming against Wisconsin-Whitewater on Nov. 14 in the Northwestern Duals. SDSU also is 0-2 in WWC wrestling, losing to Northern Colorado by a score of 26-21 and Northern Iowa, a 38-9 loss.
North Dakota State: The Bison now are 7-2 on the year, with perhaps their biggest win coming over then-ranked No. 9 Central Michigan on Nov. 27 at the Northern Quad duals. NDSU also is 1-1 in WWC wrestling, losing to Northern Iowa (21-19) but beating Northern Colorado 25-12 in its most recent outing.
Wyoming: The Cowboys, winners of three straight duals, are 7-4 on the season and 1-0 in WWC action. Wyoming took down Utah Valley in its last outing, beating the Wolverines 23-15 in Orem, Utah.

The wrestlers
There will be some wrestlers taking aim at postseason action in the duals this weekend. Currently, Wyoming has five wrestlers ranked in the first edition of the NCAA Coaches' Panel rankings, and North Dakota State has two. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots for the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches across the nation.
-Coaches' Panel Rankings-
125 pounds: (UW) Michael Martinez, 22nd; (NDSU) Trent Sprenkle, 18th
133: (UW) Tyler Cox, 27th
149: (UW) Cole Dallaserra, 20th
157: (NDSU) Vince Salminen, 18th
165: (UW) Shane Onufer, 6th
184: (UW) Joe LeBlanc, 5th

The history
The Cowboys are 11-0 all-time versus the Jackrabbits, and 6-4 all-time versus the Bison.

What's at stake
"Individually, we're not only looking to set ourselves up in a good place for the conference tournament, but it's also time to evaluate where we're going to set (lineups) for the conference tournament," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said.
"We can start gearing towards looking that direction and seeing what needs to be done for us to qualify for the NCAA tournament. On an individual basis, the focus is there a little bit more. Team-wise, we want to maintain our position in the conference and we expect to win conference matches and finish on top."

The probable lineups
Versus South Dakota State
125 pounds: (UW) No. 18 Michael Martinez vs. (SDSU) Aaron Pickrel
133: (UW) Tyler Cox vs. Open
141: (UW) Chase Smith OR Kasey Garnhart vs. (SDSU) Tyler Johnson
149: (UW) No. 18 Cole Dallaserra vs. (SDSU) Jimmy Hamilton OR Andrew Youngblom
157: (UW) Jimmy Belleville vs. (SDSU) Nick Flynn OR Rex Lyon
165: (UW) No. 4 Shane Onufer vs. (SDSU) John Nething II OR Joe Rasmussen
174: (UW) Patrick Martinez vs. (SDSU) David Michaud
184: (UW) No. 5 Joe LeBlanc vs. (SDSU) Cord Willers
197: (UW) L.J. Helbig vs. Open
Heavyweight: (UW) Matthew McLaughlin OR Jack Tennant vs. (SDSU) Kevin Kelly

Versus North Dakota State
125 pounds: (UW) Michael Martinez vs. (NDSU) No. 17 Trent Sprenkle
133: (UW) Cox vs. (NDSU) Justin Solberg
141: (UW) Smith OR Garnhart vs. (NDSU) Trevor Johnson
149: (UW) Dallaserra vs. (NDSU) Mark Erickson
157: (UW) Belleville vs. (NDSU) Vince Salminen
165: (UW) Onufer vs. (NDSU) Tyler Johnson
174: (UW) Patrick Martinez vs. (NDSU) Mac Stoll
184: (UW) LeBlanc vs. (NDSU) Kenny Moenkedick
197: (UW) Helbig vs. (NDSU) Drew Ross
Heavyweight: (UW) McLaughlin OR Tennant vs. (NDSU) Will Johnson
(Rankings based on InterMat polls as of Jan. 25)