Cow­boys win clash with Titans on Senior Night

The Wyoming Cow­boys wrestling team clashed with the Titans of Cal-State Fuller­ton and came away vic­to­ri­ous on Senior Night, 28–13, at the Uni­Wyo Sports Com­plex Fri­day night in Laramie.

The win was the fifth-straight for Wyoming and now has an over­all dual record of 11–3, while Fuller­ton, of the PAC-10, falls to 2−8−1.  The Cow­boys won 2-of-3 duals against the PAC-10 this sea­son, as they won at Stan­ford 25–9, lost at Ore­gon State 28–8, and beat Fuller­ton at home.

Seniors Cory Vom­Baur and Alex Rieder were hon­ored before the dual with Vom­Baur win­ning his match and Rieder los­ing a tough one on Senior Night.

Vom­Baur dom­i­nat­ed at 133-pounds against Aaron Navar­rete, Jr. of CSF with an 11–3 deci­sion, while Rieder gave Todd Noël, Jr. all he could han­dle in the 174-pound match, before falling 10–5.

“Alex Rieder didn’t have the match he want­ed, but I was glad that he was able to fin­ish up.  He’s meant a lot to our pro­gram,” UW head coach Mark Branch said.  “Even though he came up short, he had a great effort against one of their (Fuller­ton) bet­ter kids.  I was proud of that.”

Von­Baur said it was nice to come out and win on Senior Night and that it was one of the more emo­tion­al match­es in his career.

“This dual, I was real­ly look­ing at the fans a lot more before the dual start­ed.  I usu­al­ly don’t think about it at all,” Vom­Baur said.  “I found myself think­ing, ‘this is it, this is my last home dual, this is the last time I’m going to be wrestling in front of my home crowd.’”

How­ev­er, things did not start out so well for the Cow­boys, as No. 17-ranked Kurt Klimek got Fuller­ton on the board first, edg­ing Lee (L.J.) Hel­big in the heavy­weight match 9–6.  Klimek seemed to have the match under con­trol lead­ing 7–3 in the third peri­od, before Hel­big chipped away with three points to pull with­in one and the clock stopped with 5.4 sec­onds remain­ing, but Kilmek would add escape and rid­ing time points to avoid the upset and give the Titans an ear­ly 3–0 lead.

No. 12 Michael Mar­tinez would answer in the fol­low­ing match and put Wyoming ahead at the 125-pound bout against Andre Gon­za­lez of CSF, win­ning 10–2 to up his dual record to 26–7 on the year and the Pokes led 4–3.

Vom­Baurs’ win upped the Cow­boys lead to 8–3, but Fuller­ton would answer back at 141-pounds with Adin Due­nas, Jr., run­ning over Kasey Gar­nhart of UW 9–1.

Chase Smith would fight hard for the Cow­boys at 149-pounds, but couldn’t break through against Nick Jor­dan, Jr. of CSF, and fell in a 3–0 shutout, and sud­den­ly, Wyoming trailed 10–8.

The back and forth bat­tle con­tin­ued at 157-pounds, and the home crowd saw Jim­my Belleville of UW win a con­vinc­ing 10–4 match against Steven De La Fuente, Jr. of CSF, to reclaim the lead 11–10.

No. 9 Shane Onufer pro­vid­ed some much need­ed breath­ing room for the Pokes at 165-pounds after win­ning a major deci­sion by tech­ni­cal fall in the sec­ond peri­od over Clay­ton Shuelke of CSF, which gave Wyoming a 17–10 lead.  Onufer is now 23–5 this sea­son.

Noël, Jr.’ win in the next match brought the Titans to with­in 17–13, but All-Amer­i­can and No. 9-ranked Joe LeBlanc answered the call for Wyoming at 184-pounds and won a major deci­sion by tech­ni­cal fall in the sec­ond peri­od over Mark Savelle, Jr. of CSF to increase its lead to 23–13.

The final match of the evening saw Cow­boy Alfon­so (Fonz) Her­nan­dez eas­i­ly win the 197-pound bout against Ethan Weis­rock of CSF 18–3 for the final mar­gin.  Over­all Branch was pleased with the team effort.

“Shane Onufer pick­ing up the pin and know­ing that we had Fonz (Alfon­so Her­nan­dez) and Joe (LeBlanc) com­ing behind and know­ing those guys were going to take care of busi­ness.  I’m proud that we were able to do what we want­ed to do and send those seniors out right.”

Vom­Baur is now 16–7 in his final sea­son as a Poke, and his expe­ri­ence and rela­tion­ships at UW are some­thing that he will fond­ly remem­ber.

“These wrestlers are like my broth­ers,” Vom­Baur said.  “Every day in the wrestling room, we pour out blood, sweat, and tears and you cre­ate very strong bonds that way.  I’ll miss that the most.”

Wyoming will go for its first out­right West­ern Wrestling Con­fer­ence reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pi­onship against the Fal­cons of Air Force on Thurs­day at 7 p.m., in Col­orado Springs, Colo.

“It’s impor­tant for us,” Branch said about win­ning a WWC cham­pi­onship.  “That’s a goal for us, to go unde­feat­ed in con­fer­ence and win the reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pi­onship and that should give us a lot of con­fi­dence to go up to Brook­ings (S.D.) and win the (WWC) tour­na­ment (cham­pi­onship) out­right.”

“When I first start­ed here, win­ning the con­fer­ence, I wouldn’t say it was incon­ceiv­able, but we were far from it,” Vom­Baur said.  “The pro­gram, just to see how it has trans­formed and now we expect to win the con­fer­ence, and that’s going to hap­pen year in and year out.  Win­ning the con­fer­ence, there won’t be any cel­e­bra­tion or any­thing because we expect to win the con­fer­ence.”