Cowboy Wrestling Hosts 30th Annual Cowboy Open

<b>Junior Andrew Shuler placed second in the 157 pound weight class.</b><br>

Junior Andrew Shuler placed second in the 157 pound weight class.

Nov. 17, 2002


Nine University of Wyoming wrestlers placed in the top four in their respective weight classes on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the 30th Cowboy Open wrestling tournament at the War Memorial Fieldhouse.

Cowboy junior Levi Prevost was the only Division I champion winning the 165 pound weight class. Prevost was seeded number one in the bracket and proved it by winning four matches, three majority decisions, on route to the 165 pound title.

Two other Cowboys, senior Brad Steele and junior Andrew Shuler, also wrestled in championship matches. Steele worked his way to the championship bout by winning two matches by a combined total of 5-2, but came up short to Air Force's Kevin Hoy 8-1. Shuler, seeded number one in his bracket, won three matches with a major decision in the semifinals before being defeated by Stryder Davis of North Idaho College.

Three Cowboys placed 3rd in their weight classes. Senior Thad Trujilo (149) went 5-1 and defeated Jarod Spry of the Bear Wrestling Club for the consolation championship. Sophomore Justin Salas battled back to win third place after suffering a loss in the semifinalist to Sam Sherertz of Air Force 13-3, Salas also placed third at last years Cowboy Open. True freshman Sam Wendland wrestled unattached but turned heads by shaking off a technical defeat in the second round and then winning four matches to earn third place.

Two Cowboys pulled off quality performances in the Under 20 Division of the tournament. Freshman Gary Dack breezed through the 157 pound bracket winning five matches, two by pin and a major decision, to claim first place. Freshman Jake Severn went 3-2, with a pin, in the 197 pound weight class but fell short of the consolation championship by losing to Manny Pacillas of Adams State College.

Other Cowboys were turned out respectable performances were junior Kevin Kessner and freshman Bryce Leonhardt. Kessner went 2-2 with one pin in the Division I 197 pound weight class to earn fourth place. In the 125 pound weight class, freshman Bryce Leonhardt battled the #3 ranked Ben Vombaur of Boise State down to the wire for the second time in three days. Leonhardt came up short 6-1 on Friday and 4-2 on Sunday.



"I felt like we wrestled in spurts," said UW head wrestling coach Steven Suder following the tournament. "One of the benefits of an early season tournament is that you get to see a lot of varieties of wrestlers and a lot of competition. I don't think I saw any team today wrestle solid throughout the whole tournament as a team, I'm not sure that can be expected at this time of the year. We sure didn't wrestle solid throughout the whole day."

"I thought our guys wrestled pretty tough though, just like on Friday. I was real encouraged by our young guys, not discouraged by our veterans but real pleased with our young guys. Gary Dack won the tournament in the younger division, Jake Severn hasn't practiced that much due to injuries but came out a fought hard in a tough bracket, and Bryce Leonhardt fought hard against the #3 guy in the nation."

The Cowboys return to the mat on Saturday, November 23 when they travel to Omaha, Neb. for the Nebraska Omaha Open tournament.

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