The No. 11 wrestling team in the nation, the University of Wyoming Cowboys, came into the Save Mart Center this past Sunday ready to add one more win on their record, but the Fresno State Bulldogs wrestling team would not let the Cowboys get in their way.
Fresno State defeated Wyoming, 21-12, giving the Bulldogs their fifth win in the last six duals to make their overall record 8-6 and their Big 12 conference record 4-3.
The heavyweight class started the dual with the Bulldogs bringing to the mat No. 20 AJ Nevills to face No. 21 Brian Andrews for Wyoming. Nevills defeated Andrews in a very close match that saw him come back from an early deficit to win, 4-2.
After getting the initial points in the dual, the Bulldogs sought to jump ahead with Robert Garcia IV matching up against No.16 Cole Verner in the 125-pound weight class. Verner defeated Garcia in a 5-4 decision, giving the points to Wyoming and tying up the dual.
Next up for the ‘Dogs was Gary Joint meeting up against No. 11 Montorie Bridges in the 133-pound weight class. Bridges took the match with a 6-2 decision, giving the Cowboys a lead in the dual.
Fresno State’s Chris Deloza looked to add points for the Bulldogs by facing Wyoming’s No. 13 Sam Turner in the 141-pound weight class. Deloza had a hard time during the match and was eventually defeated by Turner 5-2.
The Bulldogs’ luck finally began to turn when No. 12 Khristian Olivas defeated Jaron Jensen in the 149-pound weight class by a score of 9-6.
After Olivas’ win, the Bulldogs’ Jacob Wright was up next in a matchup against Jed Loveless in the 157-pound weight class. Wright pinned Loveless in the third period to win the match and give the lead to the Bulldogs.
The Cowboys got their last win when Branson Ashworth, the No. 9 at the 165-pound weight class, defeated the Bulldogs Isaiah Hokit 8-3 to tie the dual at 12.
Fresno State regained the lead thanks to Dominic Kincaid’s defeat of Anthony Lamardo in the 174-pound weight class, 5-3.
The Bulldogs’ No. 25 in the 184-pound weight class, Jackson Hemauer, added to the ‘Dog’s lead by defeating No. 20 Tate Samuelson 5-1 in a tough matchup.
In the 197-pound weight class No. 13 Josh Hokit faced No. 20 Vale Davidson in the last match of the dual. Hokit came up on top, defeating Davidson with a 4-2 decision, giving the Bulldogs the dual win.
After the dual, head coach Troy Steiner commented about the win in an interview with Fresno State Athletics.
“We didn’t want this dual to slip away and the guys came out and wrestled hard and aggressive,” Steiner said. “With only three duals left [in the regular season], we need to enjoy what we are doing and it is great to do it in front of our home fans.”