Cowboys Eliminated After Day Two Of Nationals

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Courtesy Wyoming Media Relations

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (March 21, 2014) Junior Shane Woods won one bout Friday morning to lead the University of Wyoming wrestling contingent on Day Two of the NCAA Championships.

Woods earned the biggest win of his career Friday, toppling 12th-seeded Taylor Meeks of Oregon State in the wrestleback bracket. He used his physical, aggressive style for a 5-3 win to advance, toppling the 2013 All-American. In his next bout versus Nick Bonnaccorsi (Pitt), he tied the bout with 1:15 remaining with an escape to force overtime. He couldn’t fight off a deep shot by Bonnaccorsi with 33 seconds left in overtime, losing 6-4. The loss eliminated him from competition and he finished 2-2.

A tough outing for the other three Pokes resulted in their elimination as well. Juniors Tyler Cox (125 pounds) and Dakota Friesth (165) and redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh (184) each finished 1-2 for the tournament with losses Friday. After Session III, UW was tied for 49th with three team points. It marked the first time since 2008 that Wyoming did not end up with an All-American.

“Friday is the toughest day of the tournament. It’s a dogfight,” Wyoming head coach Mark Branch said. “Woody wrestled the best he has all season, and especially against a kid who’s beat him a couple of times this season and a returning All-American.”

Cox, a 2013 All-American, dropped an 11-7 contest to seventh-seeded Bradley Taylor of Wisconsin in his only bout of the day. He got off to a rough start, getting into a 4-0 hole after giving up a takedown and back points, but fought back to make the deficit 8-5 to start the third. He scored to make it 9-7 with 40 seconds left, but gave up a takedown to end the bout. Cox finished the season with 29 wins and now has 89 career victories, 19th in UW history.

Friesth fell in a narrow 6-4 decision to Indiana’s Ryan Leblanc on Friday morning. He appeared to have the tying takedown with one minute remaining, but the ensuing scramble produced no points.

Stroh was pinned in the first period by Illinois’ Lazarus Reyes after the wrestlers traded shots. Lazarus came out on top for the takedown and subsequent fall.

“We wrestled tough and with a lot of effort and heart, but it was the little things that stumped us,” Branch said. “It sums up the whole season – coming up a little short. We had more downs than ups and it’s something we’ve got to address and not accept and use to get better. It’s been a frustrating year for me. We’ve constantly been fighting to create a culture that will get us to the next level.”

UW results – Day Two

Ninth-seed Tyler Cox, 125 pounds (1-2)

Championship first round: Cox dec. Caleb Richardson (Penn), 9-6
Championship second round: No. 8 Cory Clark (Iowa) dec. Cox, 8-5

Consolation second round: Seventh-seeded Bradley Taylor (Wisconsin) dec. Cox, 11-7

Dakota Friesth, 165 pounds (1-2)

Championship first round: No. 11 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) dec. Friesth, 7-4
Consolation first round: Friesth dec. Peyton Walsh (Navy), 8-4

Consolation second round: Ryan Leblanc (Indiana) dec. Friesth, 6-4

Benjamin Stroh, 184 pounds (1-2)

Championship first round: No. 1 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) dec. Stroh, 10-3
Consolation first round: Stroh dec. Lucas Sheridan (Indiana), 8-5

Consolation second round: Lazarus Reyes (Illinois) fall (1:23) Stroh

Shane Woods, 197 pounds (2-2)

Championship first round: No. 11 Nathan Burak (Iowa) dec. Woods, 8-2
Consolation first round: Woods dec. Bryce Barnes (Army), 4-3

Consolation second round: Woods dec. 12th-seeded Taylor Meeks (Oregon State), 5-3

Consolation third round: Nick Bonnaccorsi (Pitt) dec. Woods, 6-4 SV1

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