LARAMIE, Wyo. (Dec. 15, 2021) – After a week off from competition, the Wyoming Cowboy Wrestling squad is set for a big weekend of action as they host No. 2 Oklahoma State on Friday for their first dual of the season before traveling to Nevada for the Reno Tournament of Champions.
“Oklahoma State has been the dominant team in the Big 12 and they are one of the Top teams in the country, so this is an opportunity and an honor to host them here.” Head Wrestling Coach Mark Branch said “We need to be aggressive and force a hard pace for 7 minutes and believe in ourselves and we can have some exciting matches. I hope our fans play a factor also because we need to utilize the altitude and our home mat advantage.”
Friday night’s dual has all the makings to be a can’t-miss event as it will feature at least one ranked wrestler at every single weight with six ranked matches. Amongst those ranked matches is a top five showdown at 197 pounds between No. 5 Stephen Buchanan and No. 1 AJ Ferrari. Buchanan and Ferrari met last season in the Big 12 Championship match where Ferrari bested Buchanan and would go on to win the NCAA Title as well. Buchanan finished the season as an All-American as well making Fridays match a battle of All-Americans. This season both wrestlers are currently undefeated and looking to add another big win to their records.
Jacob Wright (157), Hayden Hastings (174) and Tate Samuelson (184) are all set to face familiar foes as well. Last season each of them notched a win over their Oklahoma State counterparts with Hastings and Samuelson defeating the OSU starters twice on the season. Each of these rematches on Friday night will be a top 15 matchup.
Last season Wyoming and Oklahoma State did not compete in a dual against each other, but Wyoming did travel to Stillwater for the Cowboy Challenge tournament. Wyoming crowned four champions at that tournament, the most of any school competing.
After Friday’s dual, Wyoming will have a quick turnaround as they hit the road and travel to Reno, Nevada to compete in the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
“I am looking forward to seeing us in a tournament setting to end the semester. This will be a great test for us, and we are still competing at a few weights for the starting spot, so this tournament will give us a chance to see who is ready to separate themselves. I expect us to go there and fight for a team title.”
The Pokes will be bringing multiple wrestlers to Reno at 125 and 141 pounds, a handful of unattached wrestlers are also set to compete in Reno. The tournament field is comprised of teams from all levels including NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA. Some of the other NCAA teams competing include Stanford, Cal Poly and California Baptist.
At the 2019 Reno Tournament of Champions the Cowboys had a performance to remember as they won the team title while also crowning three champions led by Dewey Krueger who was named the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament after winning the 157-pound title. The pokes will now look to recreate that success this year and wrap up their first half of their season with a solid performance.
Friday night’s meet will be streamed on FloWrestling with live stats available on Trackwrestling. Sunday’s live video and tournament results will be available on FloWrestling and FloArena.