Colgan and Meredith Claim Big 12 Titles as Five Earn Berth to NCAAs

UW Photo by Amil Anderson

TULSA, Okla. (Feb. 4, 2018) – Seniors Archie Colgan and Bryce Meredith led the University of Wyoming on the final day of the Big 12 Championship, as both became the first Cowboys to earn individual Big 12 titles.

Wyoming took fourth-place as a team with 82.5 points. It was the highest finish for the Brown and Gold since joining the Big 12. The Pokes had finished fifth in the previous two tournaments.

Meredith and Colgan Make History

“Bryce (Meredith) and Archie (Colgan) made history for us,” Branch added. “I don’t think Bryce was happy with how he wrestled yesterday, so the way he came out today was great.

“To be the first-ever Big 12 Champion is a tremendous accomplishment and should give him a lot of confidence heading to Nationals in Cleveland. Archie went up against a guy he has never beat.

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“It was impressive for him to get over the hump and I’m looking forward to see what he can do in Cleveland. We put up a lot of points this weekend, and I really do think there was four teams that separated themselves.

“This is why we’re in the Big 12. It was a tough two-day tournament and everyone can learn something. We have five guys going to Cleveland for sure, so we’ll see what happens next. It was a good tournament for us and we’ll look to Nationals going forward.”

It also became the first time since 2014 that UW had two individual conference champions when Ben Stroh (184 pounds) and Shane Woods (197 pounds) were both crowned while Wyoming was a member of the Western Wrestling Conference.

Other UW Performances

Redshirt freshman Montorie Bridges (133 pounds) and junior Branson Ashworth (165) each claimed third place at their respective weights, while redshirt freshman Sam Turner took fourth at 149 pounds and senior Chaz Polson finished in fifth at 184 pounds.

Colgan, Meredith, Bridges, Ashworth and Turner all punched their ticket to the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland.

“It was grit from our guys this morning,” Branch said. “It was a good way to start the day. To have Branson (Ashworth) and Montorie (Bridges) come back with third place was huge and even Chaz (Polson) had a really strong finish. They did a heck of a job for us.”

Meredith Wins by 6-5 Decision

For the second-straight year Meredith faced Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil in the Big 12 title match. Heil was able to get a takedown in the opening period, but it wasn’t long after Meredith scored a reversal to take a 3-2 lead to the second.

After two periods, the bout was tied at three after Heil earned an escape. Meredith out did Heil in the final two minutes with a takedown and escape point and held on for the 6-5 decision to claim the title.

It was the second victory over the two-time NCAA Champion this season.

Photo by Brett Rojo

Meredith Names Most Outstanding Wrestler

Following the completion of the tournament, Meredith was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler. He is the first Cowboy to earn the award while UW has been a member of the Big 12.

Additionally, the last conference champion at 141 pounds for Wyoming was Assistant Director of Player Development, McCade Ford, who claimed the championship in 2013.

Colgan Wins by Decision

In his first Big 12 title match, Colgan came out on top against No. 1 seed Clayton Ream of North Dakota State with a 4-3 decision. After no score in the opening period, Colgan fell behind after releasing Ream, but would score a takedown and take a 2-1 lead to the third.

Two more escapes put him on top with the decision to give Wyoming its second conference champion of the tournament.

The last Cowboy to earn an individual conference championship at 157 pounds was Dan Clum in 2006.

Bridges Takes Third Over No.5 Opponent

Bridges opened his day with two takedowns in the first period of the 133 pound consolation semifinals against Rico Montoya (UNC). He held a 5-3 advantage after the first three minutes and was still up, 5-4 heading into the final period.

Bridges would tack on an escape and last second takedown for the 8-4 decision. It was the second win over Montoya this season. Bridges moved on the face third-place bout against No. 5 Matt Schmitt of West Virginia.

Bridges and Schmitt, who is also No. 32 in the coaches’ panel rankings, went scoreless in the opening period. After each picked up an escape point, riding time gave Bridges the edge and the 2-1 decision for third place.

Turner Finishes in Fourth

In a tough matchup against Davion Jeffries of Oklahoma, Turner advanced with a 4-3 decision. Riding time ultimately proved to be the deciding factor.

He jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a first-period takedown and it wasn’t until under a minute left in the match that he would pick up the escape to tie it at three. Turner had over two minutes of riding time in his favor for the win.

Turner faced ISU’s Jarrett Degen for the second time of the weekend in the third-place match at 149 pounds. Turner fell behind 10-1 after the opening period and was unable to recover.

He fell to Degen by tech fall, 20-5, and finished his first postseason tournament in fourth place.

Ashworth Takes Third with 18-0 Tech Fall

Ashworth moved on to the third-place match with a 1-0 decision over Dawaylon Barnes. Ashworth earned the escape in the second period for what was his second win against Barnes this season. He awaited UNC’s Keilan Torres in the third-place bout.

The junior wasn’t messing around in the third-place match as he impressively won via 18-0 tech fall. Ashworth had four separate four-point nearfall counts that followed a takedown all within the first period. It became the second victory over Torres this season.

Polson Takes Fifth Place

Leading through a good part of the 184 consolation semifinal, Polson dropped the bout as No. 2 Martin Mueller earned the fall in the third period. Polson then faced Dane Pestano (ISU) in the fifth-place match on Sunday afternoon.

Looking to take fifth-place Polson exploded in his bout against Pestano. Similar to Ashworth, Polson earned a takedown and multiple four-point nearfalls on way to the victory. He took-home fifth-place with the 16-0 tech.

NCAA Championships

After all of the qualifying events have concluded this weekend, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 47 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on Tuesday.

The 2018 NCAA Championship is set to take place in Cleveland on March 15-17.

Wyoming Results

125: No. 8 Drake Foster, 1-2

  • Preliminary: Foster major No. 9 Sinjin Briggs (ISU), 12-1
  • Quarterfinals: No. 1 Nick Piccininni (OSU) dec. Foster, 10-3
  • First Round Consolation: No. 7 Paul Bianchi (NDSU) dec. Foster, 5-3

133: No. 2 Montorie Bridges, 3-1 – Third Place

  • Quarterfinals: Bridges fall No. 10 Durbin Lloren (UVU), 4:51
  • Semifinals: No. 3 Kaid Brock (OSU) dec. Bridges, 6-2
  • Consolation Semifinals: Bridges dec. No. 4 Rico Montoya (UNC), 8-4
  • Third-Place: Bridges dec. No. 5 Matt Schmitt (WV), 2-1

141: No. 1 Bryce Meredith, 3-0 – First Place

  • Quarterfinals: Meredith dec. No. 8 Matt Findlay (UVU), 7-2
  • Semifinals: Meredith dec. No. 5 Henry Pohlmeyer (SDSU), 4-0
  • Finals: Meredith dec. No. 2 Dean Heil (OSU), 6-5

149: No. 5 Sam Turner, 4-2 – Fourth Place

  • Preliminary: Turner major No. 12 Colten Carlson (SDSU), 12-2
  • Quarterfinals: No. 4 Jarrett Degen (ISU) dec. Turner, 8-5
  • First Round Consolation: Turner dec. No. 11 Jimmy Fate (UNC), 6-0
  • Second Round Consolation: Turner dec. No. 10 Matthew Ontiveros (UVU), 5-1
  • Consolation Semifinals: Turner dec. No. 6 Davion Jeffries (OU), 4-3
  • Third-Place: No. 4 Jarrett Degen (ISU) tech Turner, 20-5

157: No. 2 Archie Colgan, 3-0 – First Place

  • Quarterfinals: Colgan major No. 7 Alex Mossing (AF), 14-2
  • Semifinals: Colgan dec. No. 3 Luke Silverberg (SDSU), 3-1 SV1
  • Finals: Colgan dec. No. 1 Clay Ream (NDSU), 4-3

165: No. 1 Branson Ashworth, 3-1 – Third Place

  • Quarterfinals: Ashworth dec. No. 8 Nick Kiussis (WV), 6-5
  • Semifinals: No. 4 Andrew Fogarty (NDSU) dec. Ashworth, 3-1 SV1
  • Consolation Semifinals: Ashworth dec. No. 6 Dawaylon Barnes (OU), 1-0
  • Third-Place: Ashworth tech No. 5 Keilan Torres (UNC), 18-0

174: No. 6 Kyle Pope, 2-2

  • Preliminary: Pope dec. No. 11 Dominic Kincaid (FS), 12-7
  • Quarterfinals: No. 3 David Kocer (SDSU) tech Pope, 19-0
  • First Round Consolation: Pope dec. No. 12 Danny Bush (ISU), 10-4
  • Second Round Consolation: No. 8 Parker VonEgidy (WV) dec. Pope, 12-8

184: No. 5 Chaz Polson, 4-2 – Fifth Place

  • Preliminary: Polson tech fall No. 12 Matthew Waddell (OU), 18-2
  • Quarterfinals: No. 4 Keegan Moore (OSU) dec. Polson, 11-8
  • First Round Consolation: Polson fall No. 11 Richie Brandt (FS), 1:41
  • Second Consolation Round: Polson dec. No. 8 Zen Ikehara (AF), 3-1
  • Consolation Semifinals: No. 2 Martin Mueller (SDSU) fall Polson, 5:58
  • Fifth-place match: Polson tech No. 7 Dane Pestano (ISU), 16-0

197: No. 12 Luke Paine, 0-2

  • Preliminary: No. 5 Sam Colbray (ISU) dec. Paine, 5-2
  • First Round Consolation: No. 6 Tanner Orndorff (UVU) dec. Paine, 4-0

285: No. 8 Sam Eagan, 2-2

  • Preliminary: Eagan dec. No. 9 Matt Wagner (AFA), 6-4 TB2
  • Quarterfinals: No. 1 Derek White (OSU) tech Eagan, 17-2
  • First Round Consolation: Eagan dec. No. 10 Robert Winters (UNC), 2-1
  • Second Round Consolation: No. 5 Dan Stribal (NDSU) dec. Eagan, 2-1 TB2

Final Team Standings

  1. Oklahoma State 137 points
  2. Northern Iowa 96.5
  3. South Dakota State 94
  4. Wyoming 82.5
  5. North Dakota State 57
  6. Oklahoma 52
  7. Iowa State 51
  8. Utah Valley 50.5
  9. West Virginia 50
  10. Northern Colorado 30.5
  11. Fresno State 26.5
  12. Air Force 22.5