March 10, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The No. 25-ranked University of Wyoming Wrestling team had their list of NCAA Tournament qualifiers grow by one on Wednesday, when it was announced that senior Cory VomBaur had been awarded an at-large bid at 133 pounds.
The Cowboys will now send four wrestlers to the 2010 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, as VomBaur joins a trio of UW sophomores who won their brackets at the West Regional and earned automatic bids. Michael Martinez will compete at 125 pounds, Shane Onufer at 165 and Joe LeBlanc at 184. All four UW grapplers are returning national qualifiers.
The NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee met earlier this week and on Wednesday announced 50 at-large selections to round out the field of 330 wrestlers. All weight classes for next week's tournament now consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections were made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.
The three-day event will be held in Omaha, Neb., March 18-20 at the Qwest Center Omaha.
Martinez will enter next week's tournament as the No. 11 seed at 125 pounds. He will face sophomore Aaron Kalil from Navy in the first round on Thursday morning. Last season, Martinez had a record of 1-2 at the NCAA Tournament. His overall record this season is 30-7.
One of only a handful of wrestlers in the history of the UW program to compete in four national championships, VomBaur will enter the event unseeded in the 133-pound weight class. In his first match, he will face the winner of a pigtail bout between Matthew Fisk from Lehigh and the No. 11 seed, Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan. At the 2009 Championships, VomBaur went 1-2. He is 18-8 this season.
Onufer will be the No. 8 seed at 165 pounds in his second-straight trip to nationals. Tyler Grayson from Central Michigan will be his first round opponent. In 2009, Onufer was 2-2 at the national championships. He currently has a 27-5 season record.
Wyoming's highest seeded wrestler heading into the season-ending tournament will be LeBlanc, who at 184 pounds is the No. 7 seed. His first match will be against Josh Ihnen of Nebraska. LeBlanc's season record is currently 35-4.
Last year as a redshirt freshman, LeBlanc placed fifth at 184 pounds, becoming the first All-American in 13 years for UW's wrestling program and the 24th in school history. He was 5-2 overall and his only two losses came at the hands of top-3 finishers.