(Laramie, Wyo.) – UW head coach Mark Branch reached a milestone in his coaching career Friday night as the University of Wyoming wrestling team rolled over Northern Colorado, 41-6.
Branch won his 60th dual as UW’s head man, thanks to four falls and two major decisions from the Cowboys. He is just the fifth coach in UW history to reach the 60-win plateau. With the win, UW improved to 3-6 overall and 1-1 in the Western Wrestling Conference.
“I was pleased with the bonus points we got. From top to bottom, seeing the guys respond with bonus points was the most pleasing thing,” Branch said. “I saw guys going out and taking chances, going for falls and back points. We’ve been emphasizing to them to take chances and good things will happen. It was nice to see them come out of their shell a little bit and have a dominating win.”
Branch’s cause was aided by junior Andy McCulley, who earned the best win of his season over 19th-ranked Mitchell Polkowske. McCulley’s pin of Polkowske at 5:34 in the 157-pound bout tied the dual at 6-all after two matches and jumpstarted a 41-0 run for the Pokes over the remaining eight matches.
“Andy’s was a crazy match. He got caught in some bad situations, but didn’t lose his focus,” Branch said. “He stayed composed and came back strong and had a great reaction on that pin.”
Three other Pokes – redshirt freshmen Benjamin Stroh (184), Gunnar Woodburn (133) and Cole Mendenhall (141) – secured pins, while redshirt freshman Brent Havlik (174) and junior Shane Woods (197) came away with major decisions.
Junior heavyweight Leland Pfeifer had a nice win over UNC’s Henry Chirino, rated 29th in the latest NCAA Coaches Poll, in a gritty 2-1 decision. Wyoming also notched decision victories from juniors Dakota Friesth (165) and Tyler Cox at 125.
The Pokes have a short break before hitting the road to face Air Force on the road Tuesday. Matches begin at 7 p.m. from the Academy.
149 pounds: Beau Roberts (UNC) fall (4:56) Jake Elliott / Northern Colorado 6, Wyoming 0
157: Andy McCulley fall (5:34) #NR/20/19 Mitchell Polkowske (UNC) / Wyoming 6, Northern Colorado 6
165: #NR/NR/18 Dakota Friesth dec. Charlie McMartin (UNC), 3-2 / Wyoming 9, Northern Colorado 6
174: Brent Havlik maj. dec. Josh Van Tine (UNC), 11-2 / Wyoming 13, Northern Colorado 6
184: #18/16/17 Benjamin Stroh fall (4:52) Nick Bayer (UNC) / Wyoming 19, Northern Colorado 6
197: #NR/NR/24 Shane Woods maj. dec. Cole Briegel (UNC), 10-2 / Wyoming 23, Northern Colorado 6
285: Leland Pfeifer dec. Henry Chirino (UNC), 2-1 / Wyoming 26, Northern Colorado 6
125: #8/8/10 Tyler Cox dec. Trey Andrews (UNC), 4-2 / Wyoming 29, Northern Colorado 6
133: Gunnar Woodburn fall (4:51) Sonny Espinoza (UNC) / Wyoming 35, Northern Colorado 6
141: Cole Mendenhall fall (2:09) Nick Adams (UNC) / Wyoming 41, Northern Colorado 6
Rankings based on most recent InterMat/AWN/