OREM, Utah -- The Wyoming wrestling team picked up an impressive victory on Friday evening, dropping Big 12 foe Utah Valley in a 27-6 dual win. With the win, the Cowboys earn their 14th dual triumph of the 2018-19 season, marking the most dual wins since the 2008-09 campaign.
The Cowboys (14-4, 4-2 Big 12) ran off a number of strong individual performances, with Branson Ashworth and Hayden Hastings earning wins over top-12 opponents. The dual also saw 125-pounder Doyle Trout earn an impressive win in his first dual appearance of the season, as well as Jed Loveless picking up the first dual win of his career at 157 pounds.
"I thought we wrestled really well," head coach Mark Branch said. "We competed hard, and I thought the guys were emotionally fired up, which is good. We talk a lot about being emotional and wrestling with emotion. I saw a lot of great things."
With the dual beginning at 184, freshman Tate Samuelson picked up a nice win over Will Sumner, who is slotted at No. 26 in the NCAA Coaches' Panel Rankings. Samuelson scored takedowns in the first and second period on a couple of nice counterattacks to lead 6-1 heading to the final period. The Cowboy closed hard in the third, picking up a third takedown and riding the clock up to over a minute for a 9-3 decision.
After Utah Valley earned its first of two victories on the night at 197, Brian Andrews put together a nice bonus point win over Benjamin Andrew in the heavyweight bout. Andrews opened with a strong first period, scoring eight points off a couple of takedowns and a four-point nearfall to lead 8-2 after one. The Cowboy heavyweight kept strong in the second with a full-period rideout with Andrews tacking on a couple more points with another nearfall. Andrews scored another takedown in the final period to finish up the 14-2 major. It marked his third major of the season and ninth bonus point win.
In his first dual start of the season against Wolverine Josh Jensen, Trout got on the board in the opening frame with a nice takedown as time wound down in the period to lead 2-0 heading to the second. Jensen responded in the second with a takedown of his own. Leading, 4-2, heading to the final frame, Trout came out of a scramble with a takedown in the final 15 seconds to secure the victory.
"Obviously, Doyle jumping in there when we were in need and picking up a big win was inspirational and something that I think really motivated the rest of the team," Branch said. "That was a big boost for us."
Matched up with Isaiah Delgado at 133 pounds, redshirt sophomore Montorie Bridges responded to an early Delgado takedown with a couple of his own to end the first period, before tacking on another and a four-point nearfall before the end of the second. Leading, 12-5, in the third, Bridges would give up a takedown midway through the frame to cost him the major decision; however, he still came up with the 13-7 victory -- his 11th consecutive win.
At 141 pounds, Sam Turner made quick work of Dylan Gregerson for the second period technical fall -- his first tech of the season. Turner opened hot with a takedown followed by a trio of nearfalls to lead 14-0 after one. Choosing down to open the second, Turner quickly escaped to lock up a 15-0 technical fall and push the Wyoming lead to 18-3 after six matches.
Following a Jaron Jensen loss to Landon Knutzen at 149 pounds, Jed Loveless picked up the first dual win of his career with an 8-3 win over Spencer Haywood at 157. Loveless picked up the only two takedowns in the bout, along with a third-period takedown in the final period to all but lock up the victory.
In the bout of the night, Branson Ashworth kicked off his senior weekend with an impressive win over No. 9 Demetrius Romero. Ashworth recorded takedowns in the first and second periods to get to the final frame with a 5-0 lead. The Cowboy denied Romero any offensive points, while racking up plenty of riding time on the way to a 6-1 decision. The win was his 14th in a row dating back to Dec. 8, and marked his ninth ranked win this season.
"With Branson, I was worried about him being tight wrestling in front of his home state and home fans, friends and family," Branch said. "In those matches, you tend to put a lot of pressure on yourself, but he looked dominant and wrestled exceptionally well. It was great to see him do that."
Hayden Hastings ended the night for the Cowboys with a huge win over No. 12 Kimball Bastian. Bastian led throughout most of the first half of the match, scoring on a couple of takedowns over the first five minutes of the bout to lead, 4-3, after two. The third period, however, was all Hastings as the Cowboy capitalized on a match-tying takedown before cutting Bastian loose and converting on another score with 11 seconds left to ride out the clock for the 7-6 win. It was a nice win for Hastings, who after coming up short in narrow losses to Bastian in two previous meetings this season, tallied his third ranked victory of his freshman campaign.
"It was nice to see Hayden finish the night off with a big upset," Branch said. "The kid has beaten him twice this year, but I saw a little bit of a different side of Hayden. He was down and he really rose to the occasion. He was confident in putting him back on his feet, and went ahead and won it outright instead of trying to ride him to send it into overtime. When you wrestle with that kind of confidence, good things are going to happen.
The Cowboys will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. MT, when they play host to South Dakota State at the UniWyo Sports Complex. The dual will be the last home contest of the season for the Pokes, who will honor seniors Ashworth, Brock George and Anthony Lombardo for their contributions to the Cowboy wrestling program prior to the dual.
184: #19 Tate Samuelson (WYO) DEC #26 Will Sumner (UVU), 9-3
197: #14 Tanner Orndorff (UVU) DEC #20 Cale Davidson (WYO), 8-2
285: #21 Brian Andrews (WYO) MD Benjamin Andrew (UVU), 14-2
125: Doyle Trout (WYO) DEC Josh Jensen (UVU), 6-3
133: #10 Montorie Bridges (WYO) DEC Isaiah Delgado (UVU), 13-7
141: #12 Sam Turner (WYO) TF Dylan Gregerson (UVU), 15-0 (3:04)
149: Landon Knutzen (UVU) DEC Jaron Jensen (WYO), 8-6 (SV-1)
157: Jed Loveless (WYO) DEC Spencer Heywood (UVU), 8-3
165: #8 Branson Ashworth (WYO) DEC #9 Demetrius Romero (UVU), 6-1
174: #24 Hayden Hastings (WYO) DEC #12 Kimball Bastian (UVU), 7-6