OREM, Utah - After a great performance on the mat over the weekend, University of Wyoming 141-pound sophomore Cole Mendenhall (Great Falls, Mont./Great Falls HS) has been named the Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week. The conference award was announced Monday by the league.
Mendenhall earned the biggest win of his career last Saturday in the Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Duals. Facing eighth-ranked Chris Mecate of Old Dominion, he scored the deciding takedown less than 30 seconds into the sudden-victory period to upend Mecate 5-3. His efforts helped propel UW to a 24-10 upset win over the Monarchs, who were ranked 21st in national polls.
Mendenhall earned the win against Mecate, a two-time NCAA qualifier, despite trailing late in the third period. The Cowboy sophomore went down 2-0 in first period after giving up a takedown, but Mecate earned his first caution on ensuing restart in top position. With less than 30 seconds to go in the first, Mendenhall hit a Granby roll to score the escape point to draw closer at 2-1. Mecate added an escape point in the second to put Mendenhall behind 3-1 at the beginning of the third. Trailing by two, Mendenhall selected neutral to start the last stanza. With just 1:04 to go, Mecate earned his third caution with a reach to Mendenhall's head on a restart to make it 3-2. With just seven seconds left in regulation, Mecate again was dinged for contact prior to the whistle, which tied things up at 3-all.
In the sudden-victory period, Mendenhall fought off a Mecate shot and scored a takedown of his own to win in overtime, 5-3. Mendenhall added two more dual wins in Saturday's action to go 3-0 for the day. UW, now 3-2 overall, went unbeaten as a team in the event, adding shutout wins over Buffalo (39-0) and Binghamton (33-0).
The weekly honor is Mendenhall's first of the season and first of his career.
The Western Wrestling Conference, which is in its ninth year of competition, is comprised of six schools including the Air Force Academy, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming.
2014-15 WWC Wrestlers of the Week
Nov. 4 - Cody Pack (South Dakota State)
Nov. 11 - Jesse Stafford (Air Force)
Nov. 18 - Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State)
Nov. 25 - Cody Pack (South Dakota State)
Dec. 1 - Cole Mendenhall (Wyoming)