Current and Former Cowboy Wrestlers Earn National Recognition

June 26, 2007


Former Wyoming Cowboy wrestler Malcolm Havens, current assistant coach Ben VomBaur and current redshirt freshman student-athlete Michael Martinez all have earned national honors this summer.

Martinez and VomBaur tied for fifth place going 2-2 during the U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials held June 9-10 in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Both Martinez and VomBaur wrestled at 121 pounds (55 Kilos).

"This is a great accomplishment for both guys," head coach Steven Suder said. "Both trained very diligently over the past two months to participate in the World Team Trials."

Martinez qualified at the U.S Open in Las Vegas, Nev., during the first week of April and VomBaur qualified during the last week of April in the Northern Plains Regional in Waterloo, Iowa. VomBaur defeated Martinez in the final round of the regional to qualify for the World Team Trials.

"As a redshirt freshman, Michael placing in the top five is a reflection of his work ethic and the way he competes," Suder continued. "For Ben to complete the kind of work that is required to win a regional tournament, take fifth at the trials and continue to accomplish his tasks as a coach of this team is an incredible reflection of his tenacity."

The U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials are the pinnacle of the freestyle wrestling season. The winner represents the U.S. at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan September 16-17. Nine of the nation's best wrestlers qualified and competed at the 55 KG weight class and the tournament only placed the top four. Both Martinez and VomBaur lost in the consolation semifinal round.

"The opportunity for these guys to represent the University of Wyoming is a feather in our cap and we are extremely proud of them."

Former Cowboy Malcolm Havens has also earned National recognition recently by winning the Grappling National Championship at 92 KG (202lbs.) during the weekend of June 8-10. Havens defeated Matt Horwich in the finals 4-1.

Grappling is the most recent style of wrestling sanctioned by USA Wrestling. It is a combination of wrestling and submission fighting. Grappling matches are six minutes long and can be won by scoring more points or submitting one's opponent by a choke hold or joint lock. Havens two preliminary matches were won by submission and a 7-1 decision.

Havens, although new to the sport, successfully kept Horwich's submission skills in check and used his superior strength and wrestling ability to win the Grappling National Title.

Havens has qualified to represent the U.S. in the first ever FILA World Grappling Championships which will be held September 7-9 in Antayla, Turkey.