Cowboy Wrestlers Hit The Mats For Opening Weekend

Oct. 30, 2013


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Two events will kick off the 2013-14 season for the University of Wyoming wrestling program, as the Cowboys host the Brown vs. Gold instrasquad dual and the Cowboy Open tournament.

Ranking matches
The Brown vs. Gold instrasquad scrimmage takes place at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the UniWyo Sports Complex. The dual is free to the public and features ranking matches between UW wrestlers. There will be no matches for 125 pounds or heavyweight.

Wt. - Brown - Gold
149 - Austin Breckenridge vs. Jake Elliott
133 - Sean O'Leary vs. Drew Templeman
141 - Cole Mendenhall vs. Kyle Komata
157 - Andy McCulley vs. Tanner Miller
165 - Dallas Bailey vs. Dakota Friesth
174 - Jace Jensen vs. Brent Havlik
184 - Leland Pfeifer vs. Benjamin Stroh
197 - Shane Woods vs. Brandon Tribble
149 - Winner of Breckenridge/Elliott vs. Brandon Richardson

The Cowboy Open
On Saturday, the 36th annual Cowboy Open, presented by UniWyo Federal Credit Union, takes place in War Memorial Fieldhouse. Action begins at 9 a.m. on 10 mats. One of the largest tournaments in the West, the event will feature more than 400 competitors and 20 teams. No team score will be kept but champions will be crowned at 10 weight classes in both Elite and Amateur brackets. This tournament 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 23-straight seasons, since 1990-91.

Tickets for the Cowboy Open are $15 for adults and $10 for youth (ages 3-18) for the daylong event.

The polls
Two Pokes are in the preseason individual rankings this year. Junior Tyler Cox, fresh off an eighth-place finish at 125 pounds last year, is ranked No. 6 by InterMat. His teammate Andy McCulley, a junior, is ranked 15th at 157 pounds.

As a team, UW sits 28th in the WIN Magazine ranking, a tournament-based poll.

Year No. 6
UW head coach Mark Branch enters his sixth season leading the Cowboys in 2013-14. Already with 57 dual wins in five seasons, his squad has consistently battled and even knocked off powerful ranked teams. His team also has won four-straight conference tournament titles. For the first event of the season, Branch hopes to see how his younger wrestlers compete in their first action and see how the veterans are coming along.