LARAMIE– The University of Wyoming wrestling team will send 14 wrestlers, plus a handful of others that will compete unattached at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
The 2017 RTOC will once again be held at the Reno Events Center and marks the 23rd time wrestlers throughout the United States will travel to compete in the “Toughest Tournament in the USA”.
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How to Follow the Tournament
For the third-consecutive year, fans can follow the tournament on FloWrestling. The action will begin at 10 am MT on Sunday morning with the finals set to start at 7 pm.
In addition to Wyoming, 26 teams will be represented in Reno including Missouri, Oklahoma State, North Carolina State and Stanford. Fans are encouraged to follow @WyoWrestle on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
Last Time Out
Using three bonus point victories, UW picked up its first Big 12 win of the season at Iowa State on Dec. 9. The Pokes fell behind twice, but won six of the ten matches to push forward to the win, 24-14. The Pokes won four of the last five matches to help seal the victory.
Wyoming in the Rankings
Wyoming checks in at No. 23 in this week’s InterMat Team Tournament rankings. For the first time this season, UW received a vote in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll.
The Brown and Gold jumped to 20th in the FloWrestling team rankings this week. The Pokes are currently 21st and 23rd in the Open Mat and Trackwrestling team rankings, respectively.
Individually, Wyoming once again has four wrestlers ranked. Senior Bryce Meredith earned his fifth win over a ranked opponent this season and is fourth at 141 pounds in the FloWrestling, InterMat, The Open Mat and Trackwrestling rankings.
Meredith will have his hands full in Reno with two other top-five wrestlers set to take the mat.
Senior Archie Colgan is 16th in The Open Mat rankings at 157 pounds and 17th in both the FloWrestling and InterMat individual rankings. Junior Branson Ashworth remained at 15th in both the FloWrestling and InterMat rankings, and is also 16th in Trackwrestling’s rankings.
With an upset win over No. 20 Ian Parker last weekend, redshirt freshman Montorie Bridges is now 20th in the FloWrestling and The Open Mat’s 133 pound rankings.
Last Year in Reno
Wyoming will try to build off its success at last year’s RTOC. UW finished third in the team standings as five Pokes competed in the finals of their respective weights. Colgan (157 pounds) is lone returning Cowboy that won his weight class a year ago.
Cole Mendenhall (149 pounds) also won for the Pokes. Meredith (141 pounds), Ashworth (165 pounds) and Drew Templeman (125 pounds) each took runner-up honors in Reno last season.
In 2015, Wyoming took fourth as a team. The Cowboys had four individuals, including Meredith, who won a title at the tournament. It was also the most individual champions at the RTOC for UW under Branch.
He Said It
“This will be our final tournament test before the Big 12 Championship,” Head coach Mark Branch said. “We know what we are capable of doing and are most definitely looking forward to being out there.
“Just like Cliff Keen there will be plenty of competition in Reno on Sunday. I was happy with how we responded at Iowa State on Saturday. With the success we had, we’ll look to continue that this weekend.”
The Pokes will take to Cheyenne for a conference dual with Oklahoma State. The dual will take place on Tuesday, December 19 at 7 pm MT from Storey Gym.
Fans can purchase tickets for UW’s dual in Cheyenne by using the link above or calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 307-766-7220.