After finishing fourth in the Big 12 Championships and sending a record seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships last season, the University of Wyoming wrestling team returns to action next Saturday, November 27, at the Cowboy Open. by Laramie.
The Cowboys are ranked # 24 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association poll.
The Pokes are returning all of their starting lineup from last year, including junior Stephen Buchanan, who earned All-America status last year finishing eighth at 197 pounds at the NCAA Championships.
Other NCAA qualifiers returning for Wyoming are seniors Brian Andrews at heavyweight and Tate Samuelson at 184; Senior Redshirt Hayden Hastings (Sheridan) at 174, Cole Moody at 165 and Chase Zollmann at 133; and junior Job Greenwood at 141.
“This season is an opportunity for us to build on the experience we have and the success we have had. We have a number of guys out there who are capable of being All-Americans, ”UW head coach Mark Branch said in a statement. “It’s about improving throughout the year to have our best performance in March.”
The Cowboys Open will feature wrestlers from the State of Arizona, the Utah Valley and northern Colorado, along with other competitors from the region. UW then competes in the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas on December 3-4 before returning to the UniWyo Sports Complex for a duel against the Oklahoma State No.6 on December 17.
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“We’ve had a big change in our culture and our team is doing a lot of things the right way,” Branch said. “We have everyone working in the same direction and these things make a big difference. I really enjoy being with this team and I’m really excited about the possibilities this season.
The Cowboys’ home roster includes duels against No.13 in Iowa on Jan. 14, North Dakota State on Jan. 16, and Oregon State on Jan. 22. UW will also face the North Iowa No.16 on Jan. 16 in Brookings, South Dakota. ; and Missouri’s No.3 on Jan. 29 in Orem, Utah.
The Big 12 Championships will be held March 5-6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and the NCAA Championships are scheduled for March 17-19 in Detroit.