Feb. 17, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
This Thursday the Wyoming Cowboys will look to finish undefeated in the Western Wrestling Conference (WWC) when they travel to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Falcons.
The dual between the two rivals will be held Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in Clune Arena at the Air Force Academy.
UW, who currently has a five-match winning streak, enters the dual with team mark of 11-3 overall and 5-0 in the WWC. AFA is 6-9 overall, 1-3 in the WWC. The Falcon's lone WWC win came over South Dakota State by a score of 23-12, and like the `Pokes, they also beat Cal State Fullerton this past weekend, 22-19.
With their unblemished WWC dual record, Wyoming has clinched at least a share of the conference regular season dual title for the second straight year.
The `Pokes can win the title outright with a victory over the Falcons on Thursday.
Last season UW shared the honor with the University of Northern Iowa. The Cowboys finished 5-0, while the Panthers finished 4-0.
Thursday's dual will be the 46th meeting between the Air Force Falcons and the Wyoming Cowboys. UW holds a 33-12 series lead and the last time the two teams met resulted in a 37-3 Wyoming win in Laramie on Feb. 19, 2009.
As training for the Cowboys picks up over the next couple weeks head coach Mark Branch is focused on the NCAA West Regional, "It is a priority to wrestle well, but we are also using this week to prepare for the conference championship (West Regional)," Branch said.
The NCAA West Regional, at which all WWC institutions currently qualify for nationals, will be held on March 6 in Brookings, South Dakota.
Air Force is led by Freshman Cole VonOhlen at 141 pounds, with a record of 27-6, including 12 pins. VonOhlen is at No. 8 in the recent NCAA RPI list and ranked No. 15 by Intermat. One of VonOhlen's wins by fall came against UW starter Chase Smith at the Cowboy Open in Laramie last November.
Michael Martinez and Cory VomBaur are also both likely to wrestle opponents who they have previously faced in their college careers. Martinez is expected to wrestle Andrew Zwirlein at 125 pounds. The two met twice last year and Martinez won both matches by major decisions. It is also likely that VomBaur will wrestle Derek Gillespie. VomBaur and Gillespie wrestled at the NCAA West Regional last year where VomBaur won the match 10-2.
Individual probable match-ups:
* Denotes Intermat.com Rankings
# Denotes Coaches Poll Rankings