Wyoming grapplers thump Utah Valley

The Wyoming Cowboys wrestling team got back on the winning track in a big way against Western Wrestling Conference foe Utah Valley Saturday afternoon, defeating the Wolverines 37-3 at the UniWyo Sports Complex in Laramie.

Wyoming (7-3, 2-0 WWC) continues action later today against its second WWC opponent of the afternoon Northern Iowa. The pokes can take sole possession of first place in the WWC standings with a win over UNI. Utah Valley (6-2, 2-1 WWC) defeated Northern Iowa 19-16 earlier in the day.

The Wolverines took the first match at 125 pounds when No. 13-ranked Ben Kjar escaped No.11 Michael Martinez 5-3 for a Utah Valley 3-0 lead, but they would not score again as the home team dominated from there on out.

“I wasn’t too worried about us being flat or tired,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “We’ve trained hard enough to wrestle three matches, so it was just making sure putting the loss (to Oklahoma State the day before) behind us. A lot of guys had heart-breaking losses. You can’t sulk when you have competition the next day. We addressed it last night and put it behind us. We were in some tough battles and we found ways to win, which is what we didn’t do against our competition last night. It’s good to see us get in those tight matches today and win them.”

Cory Vombaur got things started for the Pokes at 133 pounds defeating Flint Ray of UVU in a narrow 3-2 decision to tie the duel up.

No. 10 Shane Onufer got back to his winning ways in the 165 pound match against Jeb Clark of UVU with a win by fall in the first period to earn the Cowboys six points.

No. 6 Joe LeBlanc also rebounded from a disappointing loss from the night before to score a 15-5 major decision win over Casen Eldridge of UVU.

“I think he lets the big match sometimes get to him, but he came out and wrestled with a lot of attitude,” Branch said about LeBlanc. “That’s what we talked about. Last night he had no attitude of finishing, he was wanting to eek em’ out. You saw it today. When he got in, he was like, ‘I’m coming at you today,’ obviously it’s good to see him get back on track. We just got to have him doing that against the top-level competition, and he’s done that.”

The Cowboys will take the mat again this evening against Northern Iowa at 5:30 p.m., in the UniWyo Sports Complex.

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