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Wyoming crowns 4 champions at Cowboy Challenge

STILLWATER, Okla. -- The Cowboys crowned four champions, the most of any competing team, Sunday afternoon in Stillwater with all four winning wrestlers upsetting top ten opponents in the finals. Jacob Wright (157), Hayden Hastings (174), Tate Samuelson (184) and Stephen Buchanan (197) were all champions for the Cowboys.

Wyoming crowned four champions
"I'm really proud of our entire team and the way we wrestled today. We had some gutsy performances at 141 and 149 and some comeback performances in the finals." Head Coach Mark Branch "I think today Really helped set the tone for the rest of the season. That's something we haven't really done in Gallagher-Iba before. To wrestle like that and those matches was great. I was really proud of our guys wrestled and we really took a big jump. I'm excited to see that they are starting believe themselves and it showed today."

Wright would get his day started in dominant fashion outscoring his first two opponents 22-6 including a 14-4 victory over Chance McLane (OSU) in the quarterfinals. In the finals Wright would come up against No. 10 Wyatt Sheets (OSU). It would be a tight match, but after taking a 3-2 lead Wright shut down the offense of Sheets and came out with the win. It was his first top 10 win of the season.

At 174 Hastings had a solid day displaying stingy defense on his way to the finals. In his first two matches Hastings only allowed 5 points, defeating Sean Harman (MIZZ) in the semifinals, 6-3. Hastings squared off against No. 7 Dustin Plott (OSU) in the finals in what would be a close match. Hastings got to his offense early scoring some big takedowns and racking up the riding time. After a comeback from Plott, the riding time would prove to be the deciding factor in the match as Hastings won 8-7 thanks to the riding time point.

Samuelson had a strong day on his way to a title displaying the heart and effort of a champion. In the quarterfinals and semifinals he outworked his opponents doubling both of them up on the scoreboard. In the finals, Samuelson faced No. 7 Dakota Greer and defense was key in Samuelson's victory. He scored two takedowns off of counter attacks, including the match winning takedown to seal the victory 10-6.

For Buchanan, it was another bid day highlighted by a upset of a top five opponent. Buchanan faced No. 2 Noah Adams (WVU) who he beat a weekend ago when Adams was ranked No. 1. Buchanan proved it was no fluke winning another nail biting match. After trailing 4-2 with less than minute left, Buchanan escaped and went straight to attacking scoring a takedown with 12 seconds left, after adding on the riding time point he won 6-4.

The Cowboys also had four third place finishers on the day, including Chase Zollmann (141) and Jaron Jensen (149). Both Zollmann and Jensen won their third place matches by fall with Jensen recording a pin inside the first period.

Up next a select group of Cowboys will travel to Air Force on Saturday, Feb. 20 for a round-robin style event with Air Force, Northern Colorado and Utah Valley.

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