The No. 23 Wyoming wrestling team completed action at the
American University duals in the nation’s capital on Friday evening. In what
were three close and hard fought duals, the Pokes fell to 1-4 on the season
after dropping contests against American (14-19), North Carolina (7-25) and
Army West Point (12-18) in Washington, DC.
Branson Ashworth led the Pokes with a 3-0 mark in The District. Two of his three wins came via decisions while he added one major decision. Dating back to the Cliff Keen Invite, the redshirt sophomore and sixteenth-ranked wrestler at 165 has now won 13 of his last 15 matches. Additionally, senior Drew Templeman and junior Bryce Meredith went 2-1 on the afternoon for the Brown and Gold.
The Pokes, who happen to be a bit thin in the upper-weight classes, began the day with a 19-14 hiccup against American University before closing out the afternoon with 25-7 and 18-12 setbacks from North Carolina and Army, respectively. Three of UW’s ten wins were bonus-point victories in Washington.
In the opening dual, Meredith was able to get the Pokes on the board in the third match against American University. Meredith used an early takedown and never looked back to bring home a major over Jack Mutchnik, 10-2. It was UW’s first bonus point victory of the afternoon and Meredith’s 14th of the season. Ashworth also outworked his opponent and cruised his way to an 11-3 major over Cole Moseley. Ashworth’s notable victory gave UW its first lead in the dual at 11-9.
Archie Colgan and Kyle Pope joined Ashworth and Meredith as Pokes with victories against American. They each held on for decisions against the Eagles. Pope won 8-4 over Michael Eckhart and Colgan fought to a 5-3 decision over Tom Page.
North Carolina won eight of the ten matches against the Pokes, but Templeman no doubt started UW off on the right foot. Templeman made quick work of James Szymanski for his first win of the day. Templeman’s 17-0 tech fall gave UW the 5-0 advantage to open the dual against UNC. Considered by many to be the match of the day, Meredith faced No. 5 Joey Ward in Wyoming’s second of three duals. Meredith and Ward went to overtime tied at six before Ward was able to come away with the 8-6 decision. Meredith used a late takedown to cut Ward’s lead to one, 6-5. He then used a riding time point to extend the match to overtime.
In another bright spot for UW versus the Tar Heels, Ashworth continued his dominance with a 3-0 decision of John Clark in the 165 bout. Ashworth was able to get ahead 2-0 during the first period and earned an escape in the second to seal his second victory of the afternoon.
Junior Chaz Polson came just short of upending Elijah Kerr-Brown in the 174 bout against the Tar Heels. Polson dropped his second contest of the day, 4-3, while in other close matches against North Carolina, senior Brandon Tribble and Gunnar Woodburn each fell in hard fought battles in their respective matches.
Against Army West Point, Templeman once again set the tone for UW with an opening match victory. He secured his second win on Friday with a 4-1 decision over Trey Chalifoux. Senior Cole Mendenhall gathered his first win of the day by using a takedown in each the second and third periods to help secure the victory over Luke Weiland, 8-1.
In the 141 bout, Meredith, the nation’s eighth-ranked wrestler, picked up his second win of the duals over #15 Logan Everett. An action packed third and final period was not only highlighted by a couple takedowns but the riding time point Meredith earned to give him the 6-5 win.
Ashworth started out slow against Army’s Andrew Mendel but picked up slack in the second period. He recorded an escape and a takedown with a two-point nearfall to strengthen his lead over Mendel. Ashworth ultimately won, 6-4, to give UW a 12-6 lead at that point in the dual. Army would go on to win the final four matches, including a 4-0 decision at 197. Junior Luke Paine represented UW at the 197 weight class and until Friday had only has seen action at 174 and 184 this season. He wrestled tough in all three of his bouts for the Brown and Gold and was one of a number of Pokes that were competing underweight at the duals.
Wyoming is back in action on Friday, January 13. The Pokes will welcome South Dakota State to the UniWyo Sports Complex for a 7 p.m. MT dual.
American 19, Wyoming 14
125 pounds: #17 Josh Terao dec. Drew Templeman, 6-4/ American 3, Wyoming 0
133: Esteban Gomez-Rivera dec. Ronnie Stevens, 7-1/ American 6, Wyoming 0
141: #8 Bryce Meredith maj. dec. Jack Mutchnik, 10-2/ American 6, Wyoming 4
149: Michael Sprague dec. #11 Cole Mendenhall, 6-5/ American 9, Wyoming 4
157: #12 Archie Colgan dec. Tom Page, 5-3/ American 9, Wyoming 7
165: #16 Branson Ashworth maj. dec. Cole Moseley/ American 9, Wyoming 11
174: Kyle Pope dec. Michael Eckhart, 8-4/ American 9, Wyoming 14
184: Jason Grimes dec. Chaz Polson, 6-3/ American 12, Wyoming 14
197: Jeric Kasunic dec. Luke Paine, 2-0/ American 15, Wyoming 14
HWT: Brett Dempsey maj. dec. Brandon Tribble, 10-2/ American 19, Wyoming 14
North Carolina 25, Wyoming 7
125 pounds: Templeman tech. fall James Szymanski, 17-0 (3:38)/ Wyoming 5, North Carolina 0
133: Nicolas Lirette dec. Gunnar Woodburn, 3-1/ Wyoming 5, North Carolina 3
141: #5 Joey Ward dec. #8 Meredith, 8-6 SV 1/ Wyoming 5, North Carolina 6
149: Troy Heilmann dec. #11 Mendenhall, 9-5/ Wyoming 5, North Carolina 9
157: Joey Moon dec. #12 Colgan, 7-2/ Wyoming 5, North Carolina 12
165: #16 Ashworth dec. John Clark, 3-0/ Wyoming 8, North Carolina 12
174: #7 Ethan Ramos maj. dec. Kyle Pope, 13-5/ Wyoming 8,
North Carolina 16
184: Elijah Kerr-Brown dec. Polson, 4-3/ Wyoming 8, North Carolina 19
197: Daniel Chaid dec. Paine, 7-3/ Wyoming 8, North Carolina 22
HWT: Cory Gilliland-Daniel dec. Tribble, 5-3/ Wyoming 7, North Carolina 25 (UW was deducted one team point).
Army West Point 18, Wyoming 12
125 pounds: Templeman dec. Trey Chalifoux, 4-1/ Wyoming 3, Army West Point 0
133: Austin Harry dec. Woodburn, 6-2/ Wyoming 3, Army West Point 3
141: #8 Meredith dec. #15 Logan Everett, 6-5/ Wyoming 6, Army West Point 3
149: #11 Mendenhall dec. Luke Keiland, 8-1/ Wyoming 9, Army West Point 3
157: #18 Russell Parsons dec. #18 Colgan, 6-1/ Wyoming 9, Army West Point 6
165: #16 Ashworth dec. Andrew Mendel, 6-4/ Wyoming 12, Army West Point 6
174: Ben Harvey dec. Pope, 7-4/ Wyoming 12, Army West Point 9
184: Samson Imonode dec. Polson, 11-5/ Wyoming 12, Army Wet Point 12
197: Jack Wedholm dec. Paine, 4-0/ Wyoming 12, Army West Point 15
HWT: Trevor Smith dec. Tribble, 4-1/ Wyoming 12, Army West Point 18