Wyoming beats North­ern Iowa for sole pos­ses­sion of first place.

The Wyoming Cow­boys won their sec­ond dual on the day beat­ing the North­ern Iowa Pan­thers 26–12 to take over sole pos­ses­sion of first place in the West­ern Wrest­ing Con­fer­ence stand­ings at the Uni­Wyo Sports Com­plex Sat­ur­day evening.

Wyoming (8−3, 3–0 WWC) got off to a quick start and nev­er looked back, while North­ern Iowa (6−10, 2–2 WWC) dropped both its duals on the day.

The Cow­boys start­ed the dual off in a big way at the 125 pound spot with No. 11-ranked Michael Mar­tinez rebound­ing from a two-match los­ing streak to upend Ter­rance Young of UNI 6–0 on an injury default.

North­ern Iowa got on the board in the 141 pound match when Char­lie Ettel­son beat Cory Vom­baur of UW 4–1 to cut the over­all score to 9–3.

The Pan­thers would cut that mar­gin to 9–6 head­ing into the 157 pound match between Jere­my Belleville of UW and Tyson Rein­er of UNI until Belleville pinned Rein­er in the first peri­od to take the match by fall giv­ing UW a com­fort­able 15–6 lead and they would coast from there.

No. 10 Shane Onufer and No. 6 Joe LeBlanc con­tin­ued their win­ning ways on the day by post­ing shutout wins in the 165 and 184 pound match­es against Nick Pick­erell and Scott Hazen of UNI. Onufer and LeBlanc defeat­ed their oppo­nents by a com­bined score of 20–0.

“I wasn’t expect­ing tough bat­tles from those teams and we did indi­vid­u­al­ly, but we came out on the win­ning end on a lot of the close match­es,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “We had some pret­ty inspir­ing per­for­mances with Kasey Gar­nhart, espe­cial­ly com­ing back, Jim­my Belleville pick­ing up a big win. We had a lot of good gut­ty per­for­mances. I’m pleased with that; those were two impor­tant con­fer­ence wins. I think we can feel good where we’re at in the con­fer­ence. Most of our duels left are in con­fer­ence and we got to look at fin­ish­ing our con­fer­ence strong to real­ly set up our seed­ing for the (WWC) tour­na­ment.”

Wyoming will con­tin­ue con­fer­ence play when it heads to Brook­ings, S.D., to take on the Jackrab­bits of South Dako­ta State Fri­day at 6 p.m.