Key WWC Showdown Awaits UW Wrestlers In Colorado

Jan. 29, 2013


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Fresh off its first conference loss in two seasons, the University of Wyoming wrestling team hopes to get back on the winning track Wednesday versus the Northern Colorado Bears.

The details
No. 21 Wyoming travels to Greeley, Colo., to face UNC in a Western Wrestling Conference matchup. Action will be in the Butler-Hancock Pavilion starting at 7 p.m.

A look at the Cowboys
The Cowboys suffered their first WWC defeat of the season Sunday versus North Dakota State, 22-15. It was only the second conference loss for head coach Mark Branch, who is in his fifth season at UW.

Wyoming now is 7-4 overall and 2-1 in league action. In dual rankings, the Pokes sit at 21st in the NWCA/USA Today/AWN poll. Two Cowboys are ranked in the individual polls, including sophomore Andy McCulley (13th at 157) and senior Alfonso Hernandez, who is fourth at 197.

Four Cowboys have won 20 or more matches this season. That group comprises sophomore Tyler Cox (25-7 at 125 pounds), McCulley (23), sophomore Shane Woods (20-11 at 184) and Hernandez, who has 27 wins and just one loss.

A look at the Bears
UNC has tallied a record of 1-6 overall and 0-1 in conference duals this season. The Bears' most recent dual was a 39-0 shutout at the hands of WWC member Utah Valley.

Top wrestlers for UNC include heavyweight Henry Chirino (20-8, fourth at the Cowboy Open) and 157-pounder Mitchell Polkowske, who is 7-5 and was second at the Cowboy Open.

Last meeting/series history
In the most recent matchup on Feb. 8, 2012, Wyoming beat UNC 37-3. The Cowboys have wrestled the Bears more than any other team in history, a total of 76 times. Wyoming is 46-29-1 versus UNC since 1932, and has won 19 straight matchups. UW's last loss in the series came in 1993.

Probable lineups
Wyoming wrestler listed first
125 pounds: Tyler Cox, So. (25-7) vs. Abe Fox, Fr. (1-6) OR Jesse Meis, So. (4-13)
133: Kasey Garnhart, Sr. (9-11) vs. Sam Bauer, Jr. (6-12)
141: Kyle Komata, Jr. (10-10) vs. Nick Adams, RFr. (10-8)
149: Brandon Richardson, So. (10-15) vs. Nick Alspaugh, RFr. (1-11)
157: No. 13 Andy McCulley, So. (23-6) vs. Mitchell Polkowske, So. (7-5)
165: Dakota Friesth, So. (12-16) vs. Charlie McMartin, So. (14-10) OR Iver Sandoval, RFr. (7-6)
174: L.J. Helbig, Sr. (18-8) OR Michael Poulos, Sr. (5-10) vs. Jesse Neilsen, Jr. (2-2)
184: Shane Woods, So. (20-11) vs. Keith Johnson, RFr. (1-6)
197: No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez, Sr. (27-1) vs. Cody McAninch, Jr. (6-12)
285: Leland Pfeifer, So. (1-6) vs. Henry Chirino, So. (20-8)