Oct. 30, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The regular season starts off with a bang Thursday for the University of Wyoming wrestling team as the Cowboys welcome Boise State for a dual, and two days after that, UW hosts the 35th annual Cowboy Open tournament.
Wyoming coach Mark Branch enters his fifth season at the helm of the Cowboys, having won 75 percent (48 out of 64) of the duals in his career. UW came in 19th last season at the NCAA Championships, its best finish since 1996. In 2011-12, the Pokes went 10-3 in duals and a perfect 6-0 in Western Wrestling Conference action, and won their third-straight conference tournament crown.
No. 19 Wyoming and No. 24 Boise State will square off in a dual that serves as the season opener for both teams. Matches begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the UniWyo Sports Complex.
On Saturday, nearly 450 wrestlers from 19 schools from around the region visit Laramie for the Cowboy Open, which takes place on 10 mats in the War Memorial Fieldhouse. Action begins at 9 a.m. and continues all day.
Boise State and Wyoming each have wrestlers in the top 20 of the InterMat rankings. For UW, sophomore 125-pounder Tyler Cox is ranked 17th and senior 197-pounder Alfonso Hernandez is No. 4 in the nation. The Broncos feature five ranked wrestlers, including No. 12 Brian Owen at 133, No. 2 Jason Chamberlain at 149, No. 18 George Ivanov at 157, No. 12 Jake Swartz at 184 and 15th-ranked Brent Chriswell at 197.
The team rankings feature both teams as well. InterMat, a tournament-based poll, lists Wyoming at No. 22, while Boise State is 16th. The USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll has UW at No. 19, and Boise State in the 24th spot.
About Boise State
Boise State was 4-9 in 2012 and went 1-5 in Pac-12 action. But the Broncos return all 10 starters from last season's squad, which featured wins over CSU Bakersfield and Chattanooga. Boise State finished second in Pac-12 Championships, trailing champion Oregon State by just nine points. Greg Randall, the Broncos' head coach, has won 102 duals in his time at Boise State.
UW has wrestled Boise State 23 times in history, and has earned a 9-13-1 mark. The series dates back to 1975. Boise State won the last meeting, working for a 24-15 win in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at the 2009 NWCA National Duals.
About the Cowboy Open
The 35th Cowboy Open has been a staple of the Cowboy Wrestling program, taking place over the span of five different decades. The first Cowboy Open took place in 1974 under head coach Joe Dowler, and the Cowboys have hosted it every year since then, with the exception of four seasons. Wyoming has hosted it for 22-straight seasons, since 1990-91.