Feb. 18, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
In their final home dual of the season and on senior night, the University of Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team will host the Air Force Academy Falcons on Thursday night, Feb. 19. The Western Wrestling Conference match-up is set to begin at 7 p.m. in the UniWyo Sports Complex.
Heading into the match, Wyoming is 13-3 overall, 3-0 in the WWC and Air Force is 4-10 overall, 1-3 WWC. The Cowboys beat Utah Valley (21-15) this past Friday for their third WWC win, while the Falcons lost to Northern Colorado (29-12) last Thursday for their third WWC loss.
The teams have two non-conference opponents in common this season, as AFA has lost to both Cal State Fullerton (37-7) and Stanford (32-7), while UW has beaten each of those schools (20-15 and 34-10).
The Cowboys this year have been led by the redshirt freshmen trio of Michael Martinez at 125 pounds, No. 19-ranked Shane Onufer at 174 pounds and No. 8-ranked Joe LeBlanc at 184 pounds. All three have over 30 wins on the year; Onufer at 37-9, LeBlanc is 36-6 and Martinez has a record of 32-9.
Onufer's mark ties him for eighth on Wyoming's All-Time Single Season Victories list with Mike McNaney, who had 37 wins during the 1984-85 season. Wyoming's record holder is Ron Whitman, who earned 47 victories during the 1984-85 season. LeBlanc, with his 36 wins, is 10th all-time at UW.
This past week the NCAA released the second of three coaches' panel rankings and RPI for the 2008-09 wrestling season. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2009 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Five Cowboy wrestlers made the list: Martinez at 125 pounds (No. 28/25) and LeBlanc at 184 (No. 10/9) were mentioned in both the rankings and RPI, while VomBaur at 133 (No. 18) and Jacob Scharbrough at heavyweight (No. 31) made the RPI list. Onufer at 174 pounds (No. 19) was in the coaches' rankings.
The Falcons' best wrestler this season has been senior Stephen Crozier (Monona, Iowa) at 165 pounds. Crozier has an overall record of 21-14.
Several promotional events are planned to take place during Thursday's dual, as the Athletics Department will offer UW students in attendance a chance to win a roundtrip airline ticket to Las Vegas and the Laramie Youth Wrestling Club will be performing during the intermission.
Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for kids 18 and younger, while UW students are free with a valid ID.
As with all of Wyoming's home duals in 2008-09, Thursday's match-up will be streamed live online at WyomingAthletics.com, via UW's multimedia subscription service, Wyoming All-Access. Cost is $7.95 a month or $59.95 for the school year, and the fee includes coverage of a multitude of UW events and features.
Live stats from the match can be found at InterMatWrestle.com.