photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com
A new feature that we have had on TOM is the “All-2000’s Team” for a respective school. We will go weight-by-weight to feature the best lineup that a team could put together comprised of wrestlers that were in action from the year 2000 to now. Their career could have started in the 1990’s; they just need to have one year of competition in the 2000’s. Each wrestler that is mentioned must have competed for one postseason at their weight class (even if it wasn’t the weight they were most known for).
125 – Tyler Cox (Gillette, WY) 2011-15
Three-time NCAA Qualifier, 2013 NCAA eighth-place finisher, 2014 West Regional Champion, Two-time West Regional finalist
One of the more exciting, high scoring 125 lber of his time, Tyler Cox got onto the podium as an All-American as a sophomore in his first trip to nationals. Though he would not place in the top-eight as a junior or senior, Cox earned was ranked in the top nine entering the tournament both seasons.
Second Team: Michael Martinez
133 – Montorie Bridges (Altus, OK) 2017-Present
2018 NCAA eighth-place finisher, 2018 Big 12 third-place finisher
Montorie Bridges’ eighth-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships made him only the second Cowboy freshman to earn All-American honors. In order for Bridges to AA, he needed to knock off the fifth-seed John Erneste (Missouri) in the Round of 12. Montorie finished his first season in a Wyoming singlet with a 35-7 record overall.
Second Team: Cory VomBaur
141 – Bryce Meredith (Cheyenne, WY) 2015-18
Three-time NCAA Qualifier, Three-time All-American (2018-2nd; 2017-4th; 2016-2nd), 2018 Big 12 Champion, Two-time Big 12 finalist
The 2017-18 season saw Bryce Meredith put the finishing touches on one of the most exceptional careers in Wyoming wrestling history. Meredith became the schools first two-time NCAA finalist since 1960. Bryce spent his first year at NC State before transferring back home to Wyoming, where he would knock off the second (Joey McKenna-Stanford), third (Kevin Jack-NC State) and sixth (Micah Jordan) seeds, just to wrestle in the finals. As a senior, Meredith earned the top seed at 141 lbs, making him the first Cowboy wrestler to have received the one seed in six years.
Second Team: McCade Ford
149 – Carter Downing (Evanston, WY) 2004-08
Three-time NCAA Qualifier, Two-time West Regional Champion, Three-time West Regional finalist
The only wrestler on this first team to finish his career pre-Mark Branch, Carter Downing wrestled for most of his career at 149 lbs, twice qualifying for national at the weight, before dropping down to 141 for his senior year. During the 2006 NCAA Championships, Downing picked up a pair of wins before his elimination.
Second Team: Cole Dallaserra
157 – Archie Colgan (Westminster, CO) 2014-18
Two-time NCAA Qualifier, 2017 NCAA Round of 12 finisher, 2018 Big 12 Champion
In 2018, along with Meredith, Archie Colgan became the first Cowboy wrestler to win a conference title in the Big 12. Colgan earned a seed in both of his NCAA berths, 15th as a junior and ninth as a senior. During his junior season at the NCAA Championships, Colgan fell in the first round and won three consecutive matches to make the Round of 12, before getting edged in the tiebreaker by Paul Fox (Stanford).
Second Team: Dan Clum
165 – Shane Onufer (Auburn, WA) 2008-12
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, 2011 NCAA fifth-place finisher, 2012 NCAA Round of 12 finisher, Four-time West Regional Champ
Shane Onufer is one of only two Cowboy wrestlers that captured conference championships in each year that they competed. Onufer and Joe LeBlanc both won titles at the 2011 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational which gave Wyoming a third-place finish, as a team. After a fifth-place finish during his junior year, Onufer entered the 2012 NCAA Championships as the second seed at 165 lbs.
Second Team: Levi Prevost
174 – Andy McCulley (Rock Springs, WY) 2011-15
Two-time NCAA Qualifier
As a sophomore in 2013, Andy McCulley first qualified for the NCAA Championships at 157 lbs. He would jump up two weight classes and make the national tournament again as a senior. That time McCulley was able to secure the 14th seed and won a match on the championship side.
Second Team: Patrick Martinez
184 – Joe LeBlanc (Meeker, CO) 2008-12
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, Four-time All-American (2012-7th; 2011-6th; 2010-4th; 2009-5th), Three-time West Regional Champion, Four-time West Regional finalist
The first and only four-time All-American in Wyoming history is Joe LeBlanc. Joe is also atop the school’s all-time wins list with 147. In his four seasons competing at the NCAA Championships, he was never seeded lower than ninth and had the top seed as a senior in 2012. Joe came closest to an NCAA title as a sophomore when he lost in the NCAA semi’s to the eventual champion Max Askren (Missouri) in sudden victory.
Second Team: Ben Stroh
197 – Alfonso Hernandez (Blackfoot, ID) 2009-13
Two-time NCAA Qualifier, Two-time All-American (2013-7th; 2012-6th), Two-time West Regional Champion
Alfonso Hernandez earned All-American honors in his only to trips to the NCAA Championships, taking sixth as a junior and seventh in his senior season. He finished his career in eighth place on the Cowboys all-time wins list with 120 and is one of only seven multiple-time All-Americans for Wyoming.
Second Team: Shane Woods
285 – Tanner Harms (Greenwood Village, CO) 2012-16
Two-time NCAA Qualifier, 2016 NCAA Round of 12 finisher, 2016 Big 12 runner-up, 2015 West Regional runner-up
In his final two years competing for Wyoming Tanner Harms finished as a conference runner-up and qualified for the NCAA Championships. His senior year Harms advanced to the NCAA Round of 12 before losing to Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State).
Second Team: Dusty Hoffenscheider