Cowboy Grapplers Host 38th Annual Cowboy Open

Nov. 5, 2015


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The University of Wyoming wrestling team opens their home schedule with the 38th annual Cowboy Open on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in War Memorial Field House. The Pokes will be joined by 27 other teams in this season's field. Tickets for the event will be sold at the southeast and northwest corners of War Memorial Fieldhouse and will be $17 for adults and $10 for children.

About the Cowboy Open

The 38th Cowboy Open is powered by your local Wyoming Ford stores. 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. This season marks the 26th-straight season that Wyoming has hosted the event, every year since 1990-91. Fans can watch every match live

A Look at Wyoming

Numerous Cowboys opened the season last weekend at the Northern Colorado Open in Greeley, Colo. Redshirt freshman P.T. Garcia recorded four pins on his way to an individual title in the Cowboys' season opener. Fellow redshirt freshman Branson Ashworth (149 pounds) and Sam Eagan (heavyweight) also won individual titles.

Garcia was impressive in his first action in a Cowboy singlet. His four pins led all wrestlers on the day with his fastest coming 1:17 into his semifinal match. Eagan was equally impressive with two falls on the day and won his title in overtime against Jack Kuck of Northern Colorado. Ashworth won his title with three decisions and one forfeit.

Sophomores Luke Paine (184 pounds) and Chaz Polson (165 pounds) along with junior Brandon Tribble (197 pounds) earned third-place finishes. Paine and Tribble went 4-1 on the day and lost close matches in the semifinals. Polson battled back through the consolation bracket with a 6-1 record.

Numerous Cowboys wrestled unattached. Freshman Cody Vigoren highlighted the group with a second-place finished at 197 pounds going 2-1. He fell to Northern Colorado's Trent Noon, an NCAA qualifier a season ago in the finals. Junior Cole Mendenhall went 5-1 on the day to finish third at 141 pounds. He defeated Cowboy freshman Ben Hornickle in the third-place match. Other placers included freshman Drake Foster at 125 pounds, freshman Dewey Krueger at 157 pounds and freshman Lucas Lovvorn at 165 pounds.

A pair of Cowboys find themselves in the national rankings. Junior Ben Stroh, who moved to 174 pounds is ranked as high as 13th in the nation by Intermat Wrestling. He is also ranked 15th by FloWrestling and Amateur Wrestling News. Senior 285 pounder Tanner Harms is ranked 18th by Win Magazine and 19th by Intermat Wrestling.

He Said It

"Last week was what I expected," head coach Mark Branch. "We looked at some things we needed to work on this week and we have addressed that with a great week of practice. We worked on our lack of aggressiveness, we worked on moving a little more and attacking, we have had some of the best practices of the season this week."

"It is going to be a great tournament and we are expecting a big turnout," Branch said. "This tournament means a lot to the University of Wyoming and it will be great getting our entire squad out there against good competition."

Up Next

The Cowboys open the dual portion of the schedule facing off against Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo. On Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. It will be the Pokes first dual as a member of the Big 12 Conference.