Cowboy Grapplers Resume Big 12 Competition in Dakotas

Jan. 27, 2016


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The Wyoming Cowboy grapplers return to Big 12 competition this weekend heading to South Dakota State and North Dakota State. After a two week hiatus battling Pac-12 foes, the Cowboys will look to add to their current two-dual winning streak.

The Cowboys visit South Dakota State on Friday night for a 6 p.m. dual in Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D. Fans can follow all the action on and The Pokes wrap up the road trip on Sunday with a noon start against North Dakota State in Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse in Fargo, N.D. A live stream is available on and live results on

A Look at Wyoming

A trio of Cowboys find themselves in the national rankings. Junior Drew Templeman is ranked 15th by Intermat Wrestling. Templeman is also ranked 16th by FloWrestling and 16th by Amateur Wrestling News. Sophomore Bryce Meredith is ranked 15th by Intermat Wrestling and ranked 13th by Flowrestling. He is ranked 13th by Amateur Wrestling News. Senior heavyweight Tanner Harms is ranked 19th by Intermat Wrestling. Harms moved into the FloWrestling rankings coming at 20th and also ranks 20th by Amateur Wrestling News.

The Cowboys have been racking up the bonus points in the last two duals earning bonus points in nine matches. In a win at Boise State the cowboys recorded bonus points in four matches with three major decisions and one fall. Last Saturday against Cal Poly the Pokes recorded bonus points in five matches including three matches in a row. Against the Mustangs the Pokes recorded two tech falls and two major decisions to go along with one fall. Freshman Drake Foster has added bonus points in both duals alongside junior Benjamin Stroh.

A Look at South Dakota State

The Jackrabbits head into the weekend with an 8-5 overall record and a 3-0 record in Big 12 duals. South Dakota State is coming off a trio of dual wins last weekend defeating SIU Edwardsville, Bakersfield and Air Force. SDSU has two ranked wrestlers heading into the weekend. 157 pounder Cody Pack is ranked seventh in the nation by Intermat wrestling with 197 pound grappler Nathan Rotert ranking 12th.

A Look at North Dakota State

The Bison come into Sunday's dual with a 2-4 overall record and a 2-1 record in the Big 12. North Dakota state defeated Air Force 23-14 last weekend in Fargo, N.D. The Bison have two wrestlers in this week rankings with 184 pounder Hayden Zilmer leading the way ranking fifth in the nation by various publications. Josh Rodriquez (125 pounds) ranks 16th in the nation by Intermat.

Series History against South Dakota State and North Dakota State

The Cowboys lead the all-time series against the Jackrabbits 15-1 in a matchup that dates back to 1954. The Pokes took last season's meeting in Laramie by a score of 32-10. The No. 18 ranked Cowboys captured the final five matches of the night, including three falls by Dakota Friesth at 165 pounds, Shane Woods at 197 and Tanner Harms at 285. It also marked head coach Mark Branch's 100th career dual win. The Jackrabbits only win in the series came on Jan. 19, 2014 as SDSU downed the Cowboys 19-18 in Gillette, Wyo.

The Pokes lead the all-time series against North Dakota State by a mark of 9-6 in a matchup that dates back to 1990. The Bison took last season's meeting in Laramie by a mark of 22-21. The dual was tied at 21-21 after the night's final match, but the Bison earned an extra team point for criteria.

He Said It

"These are really important duals and I think the timing is good because we needed to head into these duals with some confidence," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "These are two duals that will be extremely difficult and our guys are going to have to go out with confidence in these matches against solid opponents."

"The season is winding down and we are looking for those signature matches and wrestling high ranked guys gives our team an opportunity," Branch said. "We need our guys to make special things happen and our wrestlers need to go out and make that happen."

Projected Lineup vs. South Dakota State

125: #15/16/16 Drew Templeman (14-6) vs. Ben Gillette (17-7)

133: Drake Foster (23-5) vs. Brance Simms (12-8)

141: #15/13/13 Bryce Meredith (18-3) vs. Seth Gross (16-10)

149: Cole Mendenhall (12-6) vs. Alex Kocer (17-7)

157: Archie Colgan (15-7) vs. #7/8/6 Cody Pack (20-2)

165: Chaz Polson (15-11) or Kyle Pope (15-11) vs. Luke Silverberg (18-8) or Logan Peterson (16-11) or Joe Brewster (3-2)

174: Jace Jensen (6-10) vs. David Kocer (21-9)

184: Benjamin Stroh (12-10) vs. Brady Ayers (16-10)

197: Brandon Tribble (13-11) vs. #12/11/13 Nate Rotert (19-7)

285: #19/20/20 Tanner Harms (13-3) vs. Alex Macki (7-12)

Projected Lineup vs. North Dakota State

125: #15/16/16 Drew Templeman (14-6) vs. #16/13/16 Josh Rodriquez (26-7)

133: Drake Foster (23-5) vs. Nico Colunga (12-14)

141: #15/13/13 Bryce Meredith (18-3) vs. Mitch Bengston (13-7) or Tommy Walton (7-8)

149: Cole Mendenhall (12-6) vs. Clay Ream (16-12) or Mitch Friedman (11-11)

157: Archie Colgan (15-7) vs. Kyle Gilva (15-9) or Nate Rykerd (7-11)

165: Chaz Polson (15-11) or Kyle Pope (15-11) vs. Grant Nehring (4-6)

174: Jace Jensen (6-10) vs. Blake Thompson (5-11) or Tyler McNutt (10-10)

184: Benjamin Stroh (12-10) vs. #5/5/5 Hayden Zillmer (24-3)

197: Brandon Tribble (13-11) vs. Logan Paxton (5-15)

285: #19/20/20 Tanner Harms (13-3) vs. Ben Tynan (16-8)