Nov. 13, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The level of competition will be raised this weekend for the University of Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team as they begin the home portion of their schedule. UW duals with Pac-10 school Stanford on Friday, Nov. 14 and will then host the 36th annual Cowboy Open tournament on Saturday, Nov. 15.
"As our season progresses, the competition will get tougher and our guys will have to be prepared to go hard for seven minutes against Stanford," stated UW head coach Mark Branch. "They have some experience and are in a similar situation, with a new head coach. Their team will be eager to wrestle well.
"I expect us to come out with an aggressive style, just as we've been working on in practice. The guys are fired up to show everyone how hard they've been working."
The Stanford dual will begin at 5 p.m. in the UniWyo Sports Complex. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for kids 18 and younger, while UW students are free with a valid ID. In a special promotion, a ticket for the Cowboy Basketball game against Cal State Bakersfield will gain the holder free admission to the wrestling dual, while a wrestling ticket will earn fans $5 off an upper level basketball for Friday night.
The Cardinal (0-2, 0-1 Pac-10) dropped its season opener to No. 21 Navy, 27-11 last Saturday, then fell to Pac-10 opponent Cal State Bakersfield, 28-13.
Stanford placed 19th at the 2008 NCAA Championship and returns three national qualifiers off that team for 2008-09: junior Zack Giesen (184), senior Luke Feist (174) and sophomore Luke Espericueta (149). Feist is expected to wrestle at heavyweight against the Cowboys, while Espericueta should compete at 157. Giesen has yet to wrestle this year. Stanford's new head coach is Jason Borrelli.
The last time Wyoming and Stanford met on the wrestling mat was Jan. 4, 2003, at the Lone Star Duals inGrand Prairie, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Cardinal by a score of 33-6, losing only two of 10 matches.
As with all of Wyoming's home duals in 2008-09, Friday's match-up will be streamed live online at WyomingAthletics.com, via UW's multimedia subscription service, Wyoming All-Access. Cost is $7.95 a month or $59.95 for the school year, and the fee includes coverage of a multitude of UW events and features.
A long-time Wyoming tradition will then continue on Saturday, Nov. 15, when UW will hold the 36th annual Cowboy Open tournament, all day in War Memorial Fieldhouse.
"The Cowboy Open will give our team a good test and will be an indicator as to what kind of strides we still need to make," continued Branch. "There are a good number of Division I schools competing, several other Western Wrestling Conference teams and some ranked individuals, so that should make for an exciting tournament."
Over 20 collegiate teams are expected to bring competitors and NCAA DI schools that will bring full squads include: Air Force, No. 14 Boise State, Northern Colorado, Stanford, Utah Valley and Wyoming. Event officials are anticipating nearly 400 individuals will compete.
Tournament tickets are good for the entire day and are $10 for adults, $5 for youth 18 and younger. UW students can watch the event free with a valid ID.
Cowboy Open results can be followed on TrackWrestling.com and matches are scheduled to begin on nine mats at 9 a.m., running all day through the finals on Saturday evening.