Verner Earns At-Large Bid to NCAA Wrestling Championship


LARAMIE — Former Green River High School wrestler and current Wyoming Cowboy Cole Verner has had quite a season. And things just got a little sweeter.

Verner was one of three Wyoming Cowboys who earned at-large bids to wrestle in the NCAA Championships. He joins Hayden Hastings and Tate Samuelson with at-large bids, bringing the Cowboys’ total number of 2019 NCAA qualifiers to seven.

The at-large selections were made by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee using the following selection criteria: head-to-head competition, quality wins, results against common opponents, winning percentage, rating percentage index, coaches ranking and conference tournament finish.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

Seeding and brackets will be unveiled during the NCAA Selection Show on tomorrow at 4 p.m. MT and brackets will be sent out and posted on at the conclusion of the show.

The Pokes will bring seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2013. The total ties the most in the Mark Branch era and marks the 11th time since 1940 that Wyoming has qualified seven or more grapplers in a single season.

Along with the trio of Pokes who earned at-large bids on Tuesday, Cowboys Montorie Bridges, Sam Turner, Branson Ashworth and Brian Andrews will also be making the trip to Pittsburgh, Pa., for the tournament after securing automatic berths at the Big 12 Championships last weekend.

The 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships takes place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh March 21-23.