Cowboy Grapplers Gear Up To Host West Regional

March 3, 2006


The University of Wyoming wrestling team is getting set for this weekend's 2006 NCAA West Regional that will be held in the Arena-Auditorium, on Sunday. Matches will begin at noon with the four against five seeded matches.

The teams that will be participating in this weekend's regional are Air Force, Eastern Illinois, Fresno State, Northern Iowa, and Wyoming. Nothern Iowa will looking to defend their regional championship from a year ago. The Cowboys faced each team this year going 2-2 in dual action, with victories coming against Air Force and Eastern Illinois.

"We have a lot of good things going on in the wrestling room right now and the guys are getting really excited," said UW head coach Steven Suder. "I think we are ready physically, but now we just have to prepare to go to war mentally and it is going to take all ten guys to get a team championship."

The Pokes' line-up will be highlighted this weekend by seniors Bryce Leonhardt, Tyson Shatto, Malcolm Havens and Dusty Hoffschneider, and sophomores Carter Downing and Danny Clum.

Leonhardt, of Casper, Wyo., enters the tournament with an overall record of 13-7, with three victories coming by way of major decision. The 125 pounder will be going for his first West Regional Championship and a trip to nationals, which has eluded him so far in his career.

Shatto, a Douglas, Wyo. native, posted a 16-12 record with two victories by fall and another two by major decision. A four year starter at 133 pounds, Shatto is another Cowboy who will be looking to earn his first trip to NCAA Nationals.

After not being able to compete in the West Regional last year due to an injury, Havens is excited to attempt to extend his career as a Wyoming Cowboy. The Parker, Colo. native, in without a doubt his best season of the his career, will look to save his best for last and qualify for nationals at 197 pounds.

One Cowboy who is no stranger to post season competition is Hoffschneider. This Littleton, Colo. native will be looking to earn his second West Regional Championship in the heavyweight division and third consecutive trip to nationals. To date, he has posted a record of 11-2 with three pins, one technical fall, and one major decision.

Clum will be looking to earn his second consecutive trip to nationals this weekend. The 157 pounder from Arvada, Colo. finished the regular season with a record of 12-2. Four of those victories came by way of fall and another two by major decision. After a third place finish last year, Clum has the opportunity to compete for the first regional championship in his career.

One of the most exciting wrestlers to watch this season for the Pokes has been Downing. The 149 pounder from Woodruff, Utah, is the only Cowboy to post a 20 win season to date. Impressively, only eight of those 20 victories came by just a decision. Four came by pin, another four by technical fall, and another four were major decisions. He also finished third in last year's regional, and like Clum, will be looking for his first regional championship and first trip to nationals this weekend.

Cowboy Probable Line-up:

125- Bryce Leonhardt, Sr., Casper, Wyo., 13-7
133- Tyson Shatto, Sr., Douglas, Wyo., 16-12
141- Shay Lawrence, Fr., Centerville, Utah, 7-20
149- Carter Downing, Soph., Woodruff, Utah, 20-7
157- Danny Clum, Soph., Arvada, Colo., 12-2
165- Gary Dack, Jr., Arvada, Colo., 11-13
174- Bryan Bernal, Soph., Loma, Colo, 3-2
184- Preston Pavich, R-Fr., Spearfish, S.D., 5-13
197- Malcolm Havens, Sr., Parker, Colo., 17-12
HWT- Dusty Hoffschneider, Sr., Littleton, Colo., 11-2