LARAMIE, Wyo. -
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A historic night is on tap Friday as the University of Wyoming wrestling team will make their Big 12 debut tangling with Air Force. It is the fifth conference the Cowboys have been a part as the Pokes are 3-1 in their previous four conference debuts.
The dual is set to start at 7 p.m. MT in Clune Arena on the Air Force Academy campus in Colorado Springs, Colo.
A Look at Wyoming
A trio of Cowboys find themselves in the national rankings. Junior Benjamin 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 The Open Mat. Senior 285 pounder Tanner Harms is ranked 17th by Win Magazine and 20th by Intermat Wrestling. Junior Drew Templeman is ranked 20th by The Open Mat at 125 pounds.
A busy Saturday in War Memorial Fieldhouse was capped with six individual championships in two divisions at the 38th annual Cowboy Open. A pair of juniors in Benjamin Stroh (174 pounds) and Drew Templeman (125 pounds) won titles at new weights for the Pokes joining senior Tanner Harms (285 pounds) and sophomore Bryce Meredith (141 pounds) with individual titles in the elite bracket.
A Look at Air Force
Air Force also participated in the Cowboy Open last weekend and the Northern Colorado Open the weekend before. The top competitor for Air Force is 133-pounder Josh Martinez. He is ranked highly by several publications and is ranked 14th by Intermat wrestling. The Falcons had 10 total place-winners at the Cowboy Open. Martinez earned Outstanding Wrestler honors in the Cowboy Open's Elite Division, going 4-0 en route to the title at 133 pounds.
He Said it
"It is a little early to be hitting a conference foe, but this will be a good test for us," Wyoming head coach Mark Branch said. "I think this is one of the better teams Air Force has had in a while, they are a gritty team that is very tough to score one."
"It is a statement to say that the season is here opening with a conference dual," Branch said. "It is a new era started and we are excited to see what Friday brings."
The Cowboys also met the falcons in last season's conference opener defeating Air Force 34-0 in the UniWyo Sports Complex on Dec. 11, 2014.
UW leads the overall series 39-12 in 51 meetings since 1958, and has won the last seven meetings.
The probable matchups
125: #NR/NR/20 Drew Templeman vs. Drew Romero (AF)
133: Gunnar Woodburn vs. #14/NR/15 Josh Martinez (AF)
141: Bryce Meredith vs. David Walker (AF)
149: Austin Breckenridge or Jake Elliott vs. Jerry McGinity (AF)
157: Archie Colgan vs. Zach Stepan (AF)
165: Chaz Polson vs. Adam Jackson (AF)
174: #13/15/15 Benjamin Stroh vs. Adam Jackson (AF)
184: Jace Jensen vs. Anthony McLaughlin (AF)
197: Brandon Tribble vs. Parker Hines (AF)
285: #20/NR/NR Tanner Harms or Sam Eagan vs. Marcus Malecek (AF)
*Rankings reflect the latest InterMat//FloWrestling/The Open Mat individual polls.