Big 12 Road Duals on Tap this Weekend

LARAMIE, Wyo. (Jan. 16, 2018) — No. 11 Wyoming wrestling hits the road for two Big 12 duals this coming weekend. The Cowboys are set to tangle with No. 13 South Dakota State on Thursday before a contest with North Dakota State on Saturday. Both duals are scheduled for 6 p.m. MT.

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Last Time Out

The Pokes (7-2, 1-1 Big 12) are coming off their sixth-straight dual win after defeating Pac-12 foe Oregon State on Sunday night. UW won the last seven matches in the dual for the 28-12 victory. Before Sunday, Wyoming earned a 29-12 victory over CSU Bakersfield in the UniWyo Sports Complex on Friday night.

Sunday’s win was the 94th dual win for head coach Mark Branch. He is inching towards becoming the fourth coach in UW history to earn 100 dual wins. Everett Lantz (1936-43, ‘46-52, ‘53-65) went 141-73-8 during his tenure, while Steven Suder (1989-2008) and Joe Dowler (1973-87) posted records of 127-136-2 and 104-64-1, respectively.

In the Rankings

Not much has changed from a week ago in the individual rankings. Bryce Meredith is once again the No. 1 wrestler at 141 pounds in each of the Flowrestling, InterMat, Trackwrestling and The Open Mat individual rankings. He is Wyoming’s first wrestler to own the No. 1 ranking at any weight since Joe LeBlanc (184 pounds) was No. 1 heading into Nationals in 2011-12.

Montorie Bridges will be tested this weekend with tough and experienced competition, but he did move up to No. 5 in Flowrestling individual rankings. He also owns the No. 4 spot according to Trackwrestling, No. 7 in The Open Mat rankings and No. 9 by InterMat.

After moving into a tie with Shane Woods (2014-17) and Lonnie Currier (1980-85) for 16th all-time with 101 career wins, Archie Colgan (157 pounds) sits at No. 10 by InterMat and No. 12 in the Flowrestling individual rankings. He is also No. 15 for both Trackwrestling and The Open Mat.

Branson Ashworth (165 pounds) held steady at No. 14 in all individual rankings, while redshirt freshman Sam Turner is once again No. 19 in Flowrestling’s individual rankings.

As a team, Wyoming moved up one spot and is now ranked No. 22 in the USA Today/NWCA poll. The Brown and Gold are also No. 11 according to Flowrestling and Trackwrestling. They are No. 20 in InterMat’s Tournament rankings and No. 19 in The Open Mat Tournament rankings.

Know the Competition – South Dakota State & North Dakota State

South Dakota State: The Jacks (7-2, 2-0 Big 12) opened their Big 12 slate with wins at Utah Valley and Air Force this last weekend. SDSU easily defeated Utah Valley, 31-10, before winning 32-6 at Air Force.

SDSU went 14-5 in duals a season ago and finished ranked 19th in the final USA Today/NWCA poll. The Jacks returned eight starters from 2016-17, including NCAA runner-up Seth Gross at 133 pounds. Three other NCAA qualifiers return for SDSU. Luke Silverberg, who moved from 165 pounds to 157, David Kocer (174 pounds) and Nate Rotert (197 pounds).

Gross has held the No. 1 ranking throughout the season at 133 pounds. He has also won 28 consecutive dual matches, which dates back to the 2015-16 season. He is 6-0 in duals this year. Silverberg is No. 10 in this week’s rankings at 157 pounds. He has 88 career victories for SDSU. Kocer is once again No. 9 at 174 pounds, while Rotert held steady at No. 11 at 197 pounds. Rotert is also 8-0 in duals this season.

SDSU is No. 15 in the NWCA poll and No. 13 in the Flowrestling team rankings. The Cowboys lead the all-time series against SDSU 15-3 in a matchup that dates back to 1954. UW dropped its dual 33-11 last season. The Pokes picked up bonus-point victories from Meredith and Drew Templeman, as well as a decision from Colgan.

North Dakota State: Saturday’s dual with NDSU will be the first for the Bison since Jan. 7 when they competed against West Virginia. The Bison (5-6, 0-4 Big 12) were receiving votes in last week’s USA Today/NWCA poll, and have three wrestlers ranked nationally. Their dual wins this season include a 19-16 victory over No. 18 Central Michigan, a 28-11 triumph over No. 25 Pitt and a 20-16 upset over No. 12 Cornell.

Clay Ream (157 pounds) is No. 14 for NDSU, while Andrew Fogarty (165 pounds) is No. 19 and Cam Sykora is ranked 20th in the Trackwrestling rankings.  Ream, Fogarty and Sykora were each NCAA qualifiers a year ago. Mitch Bengston is coming off an injury last season, but was an NCAA qualifier at 141 pounds in 2015. Ream was not only the Big 12 runner-up in 2016, but is a three-time NCAA qualifier.

 

In a matchup that dates back to 1990, UW holds a 10-7 lead in the all-time series with NDSU. A year ago, UW fell 24-16 against the Bison in Laramie. Meredith and Cole Mendenhall each picked up bonus-point wins, while Kyle Pope and Branson Ashworth each earned decisions.

 

Up Next

After competing against South Dakota State and North Dakota State, the Pokes will be back home against Fresno State on Jan. 20. The dual is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.Tickets are available at the Wyoming Athletic Ticket Office, over the phone at 307-766-7220, or online here.

 

UW Probable Lineup v. SDSU & NDSU

125: Drake Foster (14-7 overall, 4-3 duals)
133: No. 5 Montorie Bridges (23-3, 9-0)
141: No. 1 Bryce Meredith (19-1, 9-0)
149: No. 19 Sam Turner (17-12, 5-4)
157: No. 12 Archie Colgan (23-6, 5-2) / Dewey Krueger (13-6, 2-1)
165: No. 14 Branson Ashworth (24-3, 8-1)
174: Kyle Pope (17-8, 7-2)
184: Chaz Polson (21-8, 4-4) / Luke Paine (0-0)
197: Cody Vigoren (7-11, 2-6)
285: Sam Eagan (8-8, 2-2) / Hunter Mullins (7-14, 0-5)

 

SDSU Probable lineup

125: Connor Brown (14-9 overall, 5-4 duals)

133: #1 Seth Gross (15-0, 6-0)

141: Henry Pohlmeyer (14-6, 5-2) / Isaac Andrade (3-4, 2-0)

149: Colten Carlson (8-9, 3-5)

157: #10 Luke Zilverberg (19-5, 8-1)

165: Logan Peterson (13-8, 4-2) / Zach Carlson (4-5, 0-3)

174: #9 David Kocer (16-3, 6-1)

184: Martin Mueller (15-3, 6-1) / Brady Ayers (7-6, 1-2)

197: #11 Nate Rotert (16-3, 8-0)

285: Alex Macki (8-8, 3-3)

 

NDSU Probable lineup

125: Paul Bianchi (18-9 overall, 6-5 duals)

133: #24 Cam Sykora (15-5, 6-2)

141:  McGwire Midkiff (8-10, 1-5) / Nico Colunga (8-6, 0-2)
149:  Kyle Gliva (17-8, 7-3) / Mitch Bengtson (12-4, 0-1)

157: #14 Clay Ream (15-3, 9-1) / Nick Mergen (8-8, 0-2)

165: #19 Andrew Fogarty (24-6, 8-3)

174: Charley Popp (4-6, 2-5) / Nick Knutson (4-8, 1-3)

184: Tyler McNutt (10-11, 0-6) / Cole Witzig (2-6, 0-1)

197: Cordell Eaton (14-8, 6-5)

285: Dan Stibral (15-9, 5-6)

 

 

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