Cowboy Wrestling Team Takes Fourth at West Regional
March 8, 2003
Laramie, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming wrestling team battled their way to a fourth place finish at the 2003 West Regional Saturday in Charleston, Illinois. The Cowboys finished the day with 51 team points in the five team field finishing behind Fresno State (53.5 pts), Air Force (59.5 pts) and tournament champion Northern Iowa (122 pts).
For the third consecutive season UW junior Levi Prevost has qualified to compete at the 2003 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Prevost, from Sidney, Mont., took the tournament title in the 165 pound weight class. Prevost, ranked 11th in the nation, defeated Matt Veach of Eastern Illinois in his first match with a 7-2 decision. He then went on to defeat Drew Kelley of Northern Iowa, ranked 14th in the nation, by a 3-2 decision to capture his first West Regional crown and earn his third trip to the NCAA Championships.
Junior Kevin Kessner earned a wild card nomination to the NCAA Championships by taking second place in the 197 pound weight class for the Pokes. Kessner defeated Marcio Rothellio of Fresno State by a 4-3 decision to advance to the finals. Kessner came up short to Sean Stender of Northern Iowa 5-4 in the championship bout.
Senior heavyweight Brad Steele also earned a wild card nomination to the NCAA Championships with his second place finish on Saturday. Steele dropped his first match to Kevin Hoy of Air Force, ranked 3rd in the nation, 7-2 but then bounced back and eliminated Clint Walresk of Fresno State with a 3-1 decision. In the consolation championship Steele put down Pete Ziminiski of Eastern Illinois 7-4 to force a true second place bout with Paul Hynek of Northern Iowa. Steele would take second place due to a medical forfeit.
Junior Andrew Shuler took home third place honors and a wild card
nomination to the NCAA Championships for the Cowboys. Shuler fell victim to
Jim Medeiros of Fresno State in his first match 3-2, but then came back in
his next match defeating Justin Gabbard of Air Force 8-2. In the consolation
championship Shuler wasted no time claiming third place pinning Frank
DeFliippis of Eastern Illinois in 2:15.
125 pounder Bryce Leonhardt recovered from a first round loss to Chris Helgeson of Northern Iowa and battled his way to a third place finish. In the wrestle backs Leonhardt defeated Dexter Wright of Eastern Illinois 2-1 and then went on to beat Sal Gonzalez of Fresno State 8-6 in overtime to win the consolation championship.
Freshman Tyson Shatto won his first match in the 133 pound division with a 4-3 decision over Joe Stewart of Fresno State. Shatto was defeated in his next match by Pat Garcia of Northern Iowa 11-4, and suffered an injury that forced him to sit out his bout for third place against Matt Benza of Air Force.
At 141 pounds junior Blake Gunter won his first match pinning Brian Sbertoli of Eastern Illinois in 5:33. Gunter then came up short in his next two matches taking a disappointing fourth place finish. At 149 pounds freshman Patrick Shuler also took fourth place by going 1-2 in the tournament.
Prevost, Kessner, Steele and Shuler will next compete at the NCAA National Championships Thursday-Saturday, March 20-22 at Kansas City's Kemper Arena.