Cowboy Wrestlers Ranked 22nd in Pre-Season Poll
From the desk of Harry Endicott
LARAMIE – The Wyoming wrestling team is ranked No. 22 in the preseason Division I Coaches Poll released Wednesday, the first time the have been in the preseason top 25 since 2014.
Penn State is ranked No. 1, receiving all 16 first-place votes, followed by Ohio State, Iowa, Big 12 rival Oklahoma State, and Michigan.
The Cowboys are coming off a historic season in 2013, in which the team compiled 13 dual wins— the fourth-most in school history. Coming off a 13-3 overall record and a 7-2 mark in Big 12 play, head coach Mark Branch returns three NCAA qualifiers from a season ago, including All-American Montorie Bridges.
Last season, the Cowboys finished in fourth at the Big 12 Championships with Bryce Meredith and Archie Colgan earning individual titles. The finish was the highest for a Wyoming team since joining the Big 12 in 2015, and was enough to earn Branch a Coach of the Year nod from the league’s coaches.
At the NCAA Championships, Bridges became the program’s second freshman All-American, finishing eighth at 133 pounds while Meredith added his second NCAA finals appearance at 141 pounds. As a team, Wyoming finished 17, the best finish under Branch, the 20th top-25 finish in school history, and the third in a row.
The Cowboys will open the 2018-19 season this week when they host the Cowboy Open beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the UW War Memorial Fieldhouse.