Cowboys Look to Continue Win Streak, Tune Up for Big 12 Championship at West Virgina Saturday

Tracy Ringolsby

From the desk of Kevin DeVries/Wyoming Athletic Department

The Wyoming wrestling team looks to close out its dual season on a high note Saturday afternoon as the Cowboys travel East to face West Virginia in a Big 12 tilt beginning at 3:30 p.m., MT. This will be the Pokes’ final tune-up before the Big 12 Championships March 7-8 in Tulsa, Okla.

The Pokes (8-9, 4-3 Big 12) are coming off a solid 22-11 victory Sunday in their home finale over Northern Colorado. Wyoming won six of the matchups in the dual and recorded three bonus-point wins along the way as Stephen Buchanan (197) and Cole Moody (165) both earned major decision victories while at heavyweight, Brian Andrews got a technical fall in the second period, 19-0. Montorie Bridges at 133 pounds also got a big win as he defeated 18-ranked Mosha Schwartz, 9-3 in the marquee matchup of the dual. The win was also the 600 dual victory in program history.

Sunday was Senior Day for the Cowboys as well, as three were honored prior to the dual, Dewey Krueger, Mark McConnell and Doyle Trout.

Wyoming also received some academic honors Thursday, as seven Cowboys were named to either the first or second teams of the Big 12 All-Academic Team. Bridges, Trevor Jeffries, Logan Jensen, Casey Randles and Tate Samuelson were all selected to the first team while Moody and Cole Verner were second team honorees. The selection is the third recognition for Bridges during his career and the second for Verner.

The Cowboys are 2-0 all-time in program history against the Mountaineers and this will be UW’s first trip to Morgantown. The Mountaineers are 3-11 in duals this season, including a 0-6 mark in Big 12 matchups. WVU is 3-3 at home this season and is led by second-ranked 197-pounder Noah Adams, who is a perfect 27-0 this season.

“It would help to win our last two duals and feel like we have some momentum going our way into Tulsa,” said Head Coach Mark Branch.

“In order to do that, we have to go out and wrestle hard for seven minutes and not wrestling in spurts. We need to go out there and wrestle in all positions and not have periods where we left off the gas pedal. It’s important to do the little things at this point in the season. We need chain wrestle and be able to fight in every position. Those things are going to be important in this last dual.”

The Pokes continue to have seven wrestlers ranked in various polls this week. Bridges is the highest-rated Cowboy, coming in at No. 8 in the TrackWrestling poll. At 149 pounds, Jaron Jensen bumped up two spots to No. 31 in the Track poll. At 157, Krueger is 33 in both the TrackWrestling and OpenMat rankings. At 174, Hayden Hastings remains 11 by Track while Tate Samuelson at 184 pounds moved to 30 in the OpenMat poll. Buchanan jumped up to 18 in the WIN Magazine rankings and rounding-out the ranks for the Pokes is Andrews at heavyweight, who comes in at No. 15 by OpenMat.

Due to the fact that Saturday’s dual will be played at a local high school in Morgantown, there will be no stream available. Fans will be able follow the action via live scoring updates at TrackWrestling.com or by going to gowyo.com/coverage.

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