April 3, 2014
OREM, Utah - A stellar rookie campaign was capped off by a postseason league award for University of Wyoming wrestler Benjamin Stroh, as he was named the Western Wrestling Conference Freshman of the Year. The honor was announced Thursday by the league.
Stroh, a redshirt freshman, became just the 10th freshman in UW history to win a conference title after he went 2-0 at the 2014 NCAA West Regional on March 8 to claim the 184-pound title. He qualified for his first NCAA Championships, earning the automatic bid after winning the league crown. At nationals, he advanced to the round of 24 as he finished with a 1-2 record.
The Harlem, Mont., native finished the year with a 28-8 mark, which included five wins over ranked opponents. Stroh also went unbeaten in conference action with an unblemished 9-0 showing and he was 8-4 in duals. He finished third on the Cowboy roster in wins with 28, third in dual victories (eight), second in dual points (37), third in pins (eight), fourth in major decisions (five) and also posted the squad's third-quickest pin of the year, in 36 seconds. Stroh won individual titles at the Cowboy Open, Northwest Open and Reno Tournament of Champions. Of his 28 victories, 13 came via bonus points and seven of his eight losses were against NCAA qualifiers.
Stroh concluded the regular season ranked 17th in the final coaches' poll and 28th in the final RPI standings. He was named the WWC Wrestler of the Week twice in 2013-14 and placed fifth at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Stroh was also named the Freshman of the Year in the WWC by D1CollegeWrestling.net, announced last week.
Stroh joins two other Cowboys in history to take home WWC rookie of the year honors, including Joe LeBlanc (2008-09) and Zach Zehner (2011-12).
Other conference award winners included North Dakota State 165-pound senior Steven Monk receiving Wrestler of Year and NDSU head man Roger Kish, chosen by his peers as WWC Coach of the Year.
The Wrestler of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards were voted on by the league's head coaches this past week, while the Coach of the Year balloting was determined after the NCAA West Regional/WWC Tournament.