LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming wrestling team wraps up the regular season Saturday evening hosting Big 12 foe Utah Valley. The Cowboys head into the dual winners of four of their last five duals. Saturday’s dual also marks senior night as Austin Breckenridge, Tanner Harms and Jace Jensen will be honored before the dual.
The dual is slated to start at 7 p.m. in the UniWyo Sports Complex. Fans can follow the action on Trackwrestling or watch live with a subscription to FloWrestling. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1(877-996-3261 FREE) or online at GoWYO.com.
A Look at Wyoming
A trio of Cowboys find themselves in the national rankings. Junior Drew Templeman is ranked 16th by Intermat Wrestling. Templeman is also ranked 17th by FloWrestling and 15th by Amateur Wrestling News. Sophomore Bryce Meredith is ranked 15th by Intermat Wrestling and ranked 13th by Flowrestling. He is ranked 13th by Amateur Wrestling News.
Senior heavyweight Tanner Harms is ranked 19th by Intermat Wrestling. Harms moved into the FloWrestling rankings coming at 20th and also ranks 20th by Amateur Wrestling News.
The NCAA released Thursday the second of four coaches’ panel rankings and a preliminary release of the ratings percentage index (RPI) for the 2015-16 wrestling season. The final rankings and RPI will be two of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers and seeding for the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. This year’s event is March 17-19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Three Cowboys are ranked in the Coaches’ Rankings. Meredith is the highest ranked Cowboy coming in at 12th at 141 pounds. Templeman, who is in his first season at 125 pounds ranks 17th. Harms, a returning NCAA qualifier ranks 19th at heavyweight.
Three Cowboys are ranked in the preliminary release of the RPI. Meredith is ranked sixth at 141 pounds to lead the Cowboys. Junior Archie Colgan is ranked 22nd at 157 pounds. Harms is 12th at 285 pounds. Templeman did not meet the number of matches against NCAA Division I wrestlers to qualify for this week’s RPI release.
Wrestlers in each weight class are measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches’ rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches’ rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament.
For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.
A Look at Utah Valley
The Wolverines head into the weekend with a 3-7 overall record and a 0-1 record in the Big 12 Conference. Utah Valley fell to South Dakota State 28-13 in Orem, Utah. UVU will also dual at Air Force on Thursday and Northern Colorado on Friday before heading to Laramie on Saturday. The Wolverines top competitor is No. 18 Chasen Tolbert at 125 pounds. He has a 15-4 record this season. Jade Rauser at 133 pounds is also having a nice season sporting a 14-4 record.
Series History against Utah Valley
The Pokes are 10-1 all-time against Utah Valley in a series that dates back to 2005. The Cowboys have won straight duals against the Wolverines with head coach Mark Branch sporting an impressive 7-0 record against UVU. Last season in Orem, Utah the Pokes downed Utah Valley by a mark of 29-3 on Jan. 17, 2015.
He Said It
“I feel better about how we are wrestling right now,” Branch said. “I still think there is a lot of room for improvement, but our guys are buying in and we are seeing that on the mat. It is important to go out there and take care of business before we get ready for the postseason.”
“This senior class is very important to this program,” Branch said. “They have invested their time and energy to this program and this class has been very impactful to the program. It is important to go out there and win for our seniors and show our appreciation.”
Projected Lineup vs. Utah Valley
125: #16/17/15 Drew Templeman (15-6) or Brock George (1-6) vs. #18/17/19 Chasen Tolbert or Tyler Scott (4-8)
133: Drake Foster (24-7) vs. Jade Rauser (14-4) or Bracken Nipko (3-4)
141: #15/13/13 Bryce Meredith (22-3) vs. Trevor Wilson (6-4) or Jarod Maynes (6-10)
149: Cole Mendenhall (14-7) vs. Matthew Ontiveros (8-14)
157: Archie Colgan (17-8) vs. Raider Lofthouse (7-11)
165: Chaz Polson (16-11) or Kyle Pope (16-12) vs. Brayden Humpherys (4-9) or Dalton Harmon (3-2)
174: Luke Paine (15-9) or Jace Jensen (7-11) vs. Ross Tyler (8-8)
184: Benjamin Stroh (13-12) vs. Tanner Davis (5-11) or Will Sumber (9-9)
197: Brandon Tribble (15-12) vs. Derek Thomas (9-3) or Aryton Almberg (2-9)
285: #19/20/20 Tanner Harms (16-3) vs. Dustin Dennison (8-9) or Jordan Karst (9-4)