It was a night devoted to the seniors.
All six University of Wyoming senior wrestlers competed on the mat during a dominating 38-4 dual victory over Northern Colorado in front of 1,753 fans Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium.
The Cowboys improved to 12-3 overall and 6-2 in the Big 12, while the Bears fell to 2-9 overall and 1-5.
The Cowboys won nine of 10 matches with five of those coming from the wrestlers who were in their final home dual.
“It’s pretty cool to be able to do that,” Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. “It doesn’t happen very often you can get your whole senior class in there and things worked out well.”
One of those senior wins came from Chaz Polson at 184 pounds to conclude the dual when he notched a 5-1 decision over Dylan Gabel.
“I know that kid — we are both from Colorado — and I don’t think I’ve ever beaten him, even when we were 6-years-old,” Polson said. “He always was and is a tough guy. It means a lot that I was able to get it done.”
Polson hails from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Gabel is from Parker, Colorado. Polson had a slim 2-1 lead heading in to the third period and extended it with a reversal and a riding time point.
“Confidence is contagious and I don’t know if this guy has any more,” Polson said about UW senior Bryce Meredith who was sitting next to him during the press conference afterwards.
“He is maxed out on confidence, so we are taking some from him.
“It’s easy to feel good when your team is out there kicking butt and you want to be a part of that. It’s believing in yourself and believing in your training.”
Meredith, ranked No. 1 in the nation at 141 pounds, had the second-fastest match of the dual when he pinned Bears redshirt senior Ben Polkowske in 2 minutes, 10 seconds.
“Honestly, it’s been pretty amazing we’ve been kicking everyone’s butts winning nine matches and throwing some other people out there for these last two duals,” Meredith said. “Potentially maybe winning all 10 and everyone coming together, the energy has been amazing.
“For us to go out that way is everything you could’ve ever wished for.”
The fastest match of the night was unfortunate when UW senior Luke Paine started the dual at 197 pounds. His opponent, redshirt sophomore Jacob Seely, suffered a nasty shoulder injury just 46 seconds into the match for an injury default.
UW senior Archie Colgan, ranked No. 10 in the Intermat poll, had a hard-earned 6-3 decision win against Tyler Kinn at 157.
Kyle Pope rounded out the seniors’ wins when he notched an 8-2 decision against redshirt freshman Seth Bogulski at 174.
UW senior Ronnie Stevens lost an 11-2 major decision to Rico Montoya while wrestling in place of No. 8-ranked Montorie Bridges at 133.
“We had an opportunity to wrestle a little more aggressively” Branch said. “You are always looking for more but we dominated the team score and got bonus points. We’ve been getting consistent with it, which is nice and gratifying.
“You wonder if things kind of fell in the right place on a certain night, but we’ve been making it a habit of coming out and performing well. That’s nice to see heading into this time of year.”
WYOMING 38, NORTHERN COLORADO 4
197 pounds: Paine, Wyoming, def. Seely, injury default; 285: Eagan, Wyoming, def. Winters, 6-3; 125: Foster, Wyoming, pinned Sean Cannon, 6:37; 133: Montoya, Northern Colorado, major dec. Stevens, 11-2; 141: Meredith, Wyoming, pinned Polkowske, 2:10; 149: Turner, Wyoming, tech. fall Lamb, 19-1; 157: Colgan, Wyoming, def. Kinn, 6-3; 165: Ashworth, Wyoming, def. Torres, 8-1; 174: Pope, Wyoming, def. Bogulski, 8-2; 184: Polson, Wyoming, def. Gabel, 5-1.