LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 3, 2016) -- The University of Wyoming wrestling team opens its season this weekend with the 39th annual Cowboy Open. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m., on Saturday as the Pokes will be one of 25 teams and join 450 wrestlers 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.
In addition to the Cowboy Open, junior Bryce Meredith will take on Rutgers Anthony Ashnault in the 51st National Wrestling Coaches' Association (NWCA) All-Star Classic. The annual preseason showcase is set to take place on Saturday, beginning at 5 p.m. MT from the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The event will be streamed live on TrackWrestling.com.
About the Cowboy Open
This tournament has been an essential part of the Cowboy Wrestling program. 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 year marks the 27th-straight season that Wyoming has hosted the event, every year since 1990-91.
A Look at Wyoming
The Pokes return two NCAA qualifiers in redshirt senior Drew Templeman and Meredith. In total, the UW returns ten letterwinners and welcomes seven newcomers for 2016-17.
The Cowboys are coming off a 6-6 campaign in 2015-16 that featured a 4-4 conference mark. Wyoming finished fifth at the Big 12 Championships with 71.5 points during its inaugural season in the conference. Furthermore, UW claimed the 18th spot in the team standings with 24.5 points at last year’s NCAA Championships led my Meredith’s runner-up finish.
Beginning its second season as a member of the Big 12 conference, a tough schedule once again awaits the Cowboys. UW will compete against five top-25 team finishers from last year’s NCAA Championships. Three of those duals will be home in the friendly confines of the UniWyo Sports Complex.
UW head coach Mark Branch enters his ninth season at the helm, boasting an 80-38 overall record and a 34-8 mark in conference action.
He Said It
“It’s that time of year when everyone gets a little anxious,” Branch said. “You want to know where your guys are at and see how they compete against different competition. The Cowboy Open is a great event for us and it means so much to the University of Wyoming. We have guys that are so competitive that you realize how much it means to them. Not only do us coaches want them to do well, but they want each other to do well.”
“We are all excited for Bryce (Meredith) and the fact that he gets to represent Wyoming at the All-Star Classic. His work ethic is great and he brings so much to every meet. We all understand it is the first weekend of competition, but he wants to go and perform well.”
The Cowboys will travel to Greeley, Colo., to compete in the Northern Colorado Open on Nov. 13.