Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]
LARAMIE, WYOMING — The Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete in the Division 1 NCAA Championships March 16-18 in the BOK Center. A total of three Cowboys are set to compete in Tulsa with the first round of wrestling starting at 10 a.m. MT on Thursday.
Fans can watch sessions one, three, and five on ESPNU. Session two along with the semifinals and finals will all be broadcasted live on ESPN.
Thursday – March 16th
Session 1 – 10 a.m. MT – Prelims and First Round on ESPNU
Session 2 – 5 p.m. MT – Second Round and
Stream on ESPN
Friday – March 17th
Session 3 – 10 a.m. MT – Quarterfinals and
Stream on ESPNU
Session 4 – 6 p.m. – Semifinals and
Consolation round of 12
Live on ESPN
Saturday – March 18th
Session 5 – 9 a.m. MT – Medal Rounds
Stream on ESPNU
Session 5 – 6 p.m. – Finals
Live on ESPN
Hear From Head Coach Mark Branch
“Our numbers may not be big, but we showed our best wrestling last weekend and to be able to go back to a very familiar venue is an advantage for us. Our guys are ready and they are in the best shape of their lives. This is the time of the year when you throw history, season records, and seeds out the door and you go win one match at a time. If we do that, anything is possible.” Head Wrestling Coach Mark Branch said, My expectations are the same as always. Go out and wrestle hard for 7 minutes and fight every second. Fight and heart advance you at this tournament. I just think they have mentally been tested. They have been down emotionally and now they see the progress and the momentum and they are feeling the power of more confidence.”
The Competing Cowboys
The trio of Cowboys that are set to compete in Tulsa this week will be led by 157 pounder Jacob Wright who is making his fourth straight trip to the NCAA Championships. Wright has put together yet another impressive season finishing third at the Big 12 Championships building up a 18-5 record thi season with his only losses this season coming to ranked opponents. While racking up the wins this season, Wright has put his name in the record book eclipsing the 100-win mark entering the NCAA Tournament with 102 career wins which puts him in 18th all-time in program history. Wright will enter his final NCAA Tournament as the 15-seed set for a showdown against No. 18 Derek Gilcher (IND).
At 165 pounds, Cole Moody makes his return to the national tournament as he is set to compete in his second NCAA Tournament. Moody finished as the Big 12 runner-up in 2021 and qualified for his first NCAA tournament in the process. However, during the 2021-22 season Moody’s year was cut short due to multiple injuries. Entering this year’s Big 12 tournament Moody was unseeded and unranked as he proceeded to knock off three ranked opponents and punch his ticket to the NCAA tournament with a fourth-place finish. Moody holds a record of 16-14 on the season and will enter the tournament as the 32-seed set to wrestle No. 33 Josh Kim (HARV)
Rounding out the trio of Cowboys making the trip to Tulsa will be True Freshman Jore Volk (125). In his first collegiate season, Volk has been a standout for the Cowboys tallying 24 wins including four ranked wins. In his first Big 12 Championship, Volk had a solid outing finishing in fifth to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Volk will return to Tulsa as the No. 21 seed and will face No. 12 seed Michael Deaugstino (NW) in the first round.
The First Round Matchups
125 – No. 21 Jore Volk (WYO) vs No. 12 Michael DeAugstino (NW)
157 – No. 15 Wright (WYO) vs No. 18 Derek Gilcher (IND)
165 – No. 32 Cole Moody (WYO) vs No. 33 Josh Kim (HARV)
Wyoming at the NCAA Championships
• Wyoming has crowned 37 All-Americans at the NCAA Championships since 1950. That total includes seven NCAA finalists.
• If the Cowboys are to bring home an individual championship this weekend, it would mark the program’s second, and first since Dick Ballinger in 1960.
• Under head coach Mark Branch, 12 Cowboys have returned from the NCAA Championships as All-Americans.
• Branch’s teams have recorded three top-20 finishes at the tournament, and five top-25 finishes.
• In Branch’s previous 14 seasons, Wyoming has recorded multiple All-Americans in four years, one in five years, and none in just three years.