Wyoming wrestling competed this past weekend in the Big 12 championships held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Cowboys had a mountain to climb if they wanted to dethrone the reigning Big 12 champions, Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys took ten wrestlers to Tulsa and seven of them survived into the second day of competition. Coming into the tournament five Cowboys earned top four seeds in the tournament. Bryce Meredith found himself as the two seed at 141 pounds. Drew Templeman at 125, and Branson Ashworth at 165 both were three seeds at their weight. Cole Mendenhall at 149 and Archie Colgan at 157 were four seeds in their weights.
Bryce Meredith stormed his way through the first day of competition in Tulsa. He earned a 12-2 win over Joe Wheeling from West Virginia. He then gained a 13-7 victory over Mike Longo of Oklahoma. That set him up with a rematch of last year NCAA championship final against Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil. Meredith and Heil fought it out all three periods like they usually do, but Heil won the Big 12 championship with a 10-7 victory. Meredith figures to be seeded when that happens later this week.
.@bmeredith001 with a big reverse late in the second period against Heil. #GoWyo pic.twitter.com/0vWEWgmUzc
— Wyoming Cowboy WR (@WyoWrestle) March 5, 2017
Cole Mendenhall will be able to count himself among those in attendance at the NCAA championships. He earned a third place finish with a pin of South Dakota State’s Alex Kocer in the first period.
Drew Templeman will also be making the trip to the NCAA tournament. Templeman had a third place finish for the Cowboys by winning 4-3 over Oklahoma’s Christian Moody.
Branson Ashworth will also be making the trip to St. Louis with a fifth place finish. He beat North Dakota State’s Andrew Fogarty 3-2 to punch his ticket to the championships.
Three other Wyoming wrestlers will wait to hear their status on qualifying for the NCAA tournament later this week. Archie Colgan had a fifth place finish at the Big 12 championships, winning his final match in a 15-0 technical fall over Iowa State’s Colton DiBlasi. Kyle Pope will also wait to hear if he’s going to St Louis after finishing fifth with a win over Utah Valley State’s Kimball Bastian. Also hoping for more wrestling is heavyweight Brandon Tribble who finished sixth this past weekend.
Winning the Big 12 team title was Oklahoma State who put all ten of their wrestlers into the finals. Of those ten wrestlers only two did not win their finals match. Seth Gross of South Dakota State defeated the #2 ranked Kaid Brock. Dylan Cottrell of West Virginia beat Chandler Rogers at 165. Otherwise this was a dominating performance from Oklahoma State who is looking to avenge their NCAA tournament loss in New York City last year to Penn State.
The NCAA championships will be held in St Louis, Missouri at the Scottrade Center beginning March 16th.
Final Team Scores
1. Oklahoma State – 176.5
2. Oklahoma – 93.5
3. South Dakota State – 90.5
4. North Dakota State – 82.5
5. Wyoming – 71.5
6. Iowa State – 65
7. West Virginia – 50
8. Northern Colorado – 48.5
9. Utah Valley – 32
10. Air Force – 28