Seniors Highlight Preseason Rankings for Wyoming

Oct. 22, 2014

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Complete InterMat Preseason Rankings

Experience earned respect for the University of Wyoming wrestling program, after it was revealed earlier this week that four Cowboys are individually ranked and the team is a top-25 preseason pick in dual competition.

Seniors Tyler Cox, Dakota Friesth and Shane Woods, along with sophomore Benjamin Stroh, are featured in the InterMat NCAA Division I preseason top-20 rankings for their respective weights.

The squad's active leader in career wins with 89, Cox enters his last collegiate campaign at 125 pounds. He's a returning All-America honoree, earning the distinction in 2013, and won his first Western Wrestling Conference title in 2014. He is rated eighth in the nation by InterMat, tops among a total of three ranked WWC competitors at the weight.

Friesth is coming off his best season as a Cowboy, after he won 29 bouts as a junior 165-pounder in 2013-14. He finished second at the WWC Championships and made his debut at the NCAA Championships, going 1-2. He is ranked 15th by InterMat at 165 entering this season.

Woods, a two-time WWC champion, enters his senior season as the prohibitive favorite to start for UW at 197 pounds. He has posted 67 wins in three years, and will attempt to become only the 19th UW wrestler to win three conference titles. He went 2-2 in last year's NCAA Championships, the best mark of any UW competitor. InterMat tabbed Woods 16th among the nation's 197-pounders.

Though just a sophomore, Stroh came away with the No. 16 spot in the InterMat rankings at 184. He was the WWC Rookie of the Year in 2014 after he went 28-8 overall, a perfect 9-0 against league opponents and won the 184-pound conference crown. He was 1-2 at NCAAs to finish up the year.

As a team, UW was named No. 21 in the InterMat dual-meet rankings, slightly ahead of WWC foe North Dakota State (No. 22). Despite a 6-6 dual record last season, the Cowboys won their fourth regular-season WWC title in six years after they went 4-1 in league action. The Pokes upset No. 19 NDSU by a score of 17-16 on the road in the season finale to take home the honor.

The 2014-15 regular season begins with a bang, as UW welcomes No. 7 Nebraska to Laramie on Nov. 7 and hosts the annual Cowboy Open on Nov. 8.