Pokes Primed for Iowa State


LARAMIE– The Wyoming wrestling team will open its tough Big 12 dual season on Saturday evening. The Pokes will make their way to Ames, Iowa, for a 6 pm MT contest with the Iowa State Cyclones.

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Live video of the dual can be viewed on Cyclones.tv with a subscription using the link above. Live results will also be available, and can be found using the link above as well. Fan are encouraged to follow @WyoWrestle on Twitter for updates throughout the dual.

Against Iowa State

With a 19-15 win, Wyoming picked up its second-ever victory over Iowa State last season. The Cyclones currently have a 14-2 all-time record against the Pokes. Before last year’s win, UW’s first victory over ISU came in 1950, a 19-10 win. Last year, the Cowboys won five of the matches against Iowa State with bonus points in two.

The Cyclones are 0-2 on the season, as they’ve dropped duals to Drexel and Rider. Freshman Kanen Storr brought home an eighth-place finish last weekend at the Cliff Keen Invite. Storr is one of three Cyclone’s ranked, as he sits No. 19 at 141 pounds in Intermat’s rankings.

Freshman Ian Parker sits No. 20 in The Open Mat individual rankings for 133 pounds, while Jarrett Degen is 19th at 149 pounds.

In the Rankings

Wyoming’s big three are once again in the rankings as it heads into the dual with Iowa State. Senior Bryce Meredith (141 pounds) leads the way for the Brown and Gold as he is fourth in the FlowWrestling, Intermat, The Open Mat and Trackwrestling individual rankings.

Fellow senior Archie Colgan (165 pounds) is as high as 11th in the Trackwrestling indidvual rankings, while junior Branson Ashworth’s highest individual ranking is 14th, according to Intermat at 165 pounds.

As a team, Wyoming is currently sitting 19th in the Intermat Tournament Rankings, and No. 23 in TrackWrestling’s Team rankings.

Branch’s Thoughts

“There is a lot of energy with a new coaching staff at Iowa State right now,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “They have plenty of new wrestlers in their lineups that may not have a lot of varsity experience. They are similar to us when it comes to that.

“They have an excellent coaching staff, and we know they’ll be tough come Saturday night. Iowa State is one of the few programs that has multiple NCAA team titles. It is a very storied program and we want to take advantage of being able to compete against a school with that history.”

“We understand how this dual will affect conference standings and seeding for Big 12s,” Branch added. “We have to go out and be ready to compete. I believe all of our guys have the capability of getting their hand raised.

“Bonus points will once again be important, we have to make sure to capitalize on that. We have been a little inconsistent the last couple weeks, and with that I think we could be more aggressive.”

Cliff Keen in Review

Seniors Bryce Meredith and Archie Colgan led the University of Wyoming wrestling team on Saturday at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Meredith took third at 141 pounds, while Colgan placed fifth at 157 pounds for the Brown and Gold.

On the strength of its two placers, UW took ninth in the team standings with 61 total points, just edging No. 25 Stanford and No. 18 Wisconsin. The Cowboys also finished ahead of No. 8 Minnesota, No. 16 Edinboro, No. 20 Purdue, No. 21 Oklahoma and No. 24 Pitt.

It was the second-straight year, Wyoming had at least two individuals place at the CKLV Invite.

On the Docket

After it’s dual with Iowa State, Wyoming will hit the road once again for the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 17. Cole Mendenhall (149) and Archie Colgan (157) each won their respective division titles at the Reno Tournament of Champions a year ago.

Drew Templeman (133), Bryce Meredith (141) and Branson Ashworth (165) each made it to the finals in their respective weight classes, but ultimately took runner-up honors. As a result of the dominating individual performances, the Pokes finished with 122.5 points for third place.

After the Reno Tournament of Champions, UW will host Oklahoma State at Storey Gym in Cheyenne on Dec. 19. Fans can buy tickets online at GOWYO.com or by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 307-766-7220.

Probable lineup v. Iowa State

125: Trent Olson v. Jakob Allison

133: Montorie Bridges v. Ian Parker

141: Bryce Meredith v. Kanen Storr

149: Sam Turner v. Jarrett Degen

157: Archie Colgan v. Chase Straw OR Colton DiBlasi

165: Branson Ashworth v. Skyler St. John OR Logan Breitenbach

174: Kyle Pope v. Hank Swalla OR Colin Strickland

184: Chaz Polson v. Dane Pestano

197: Cody Vigoren v. Sam Colbray

285: Hunter Mullins v. Marcus Harrington