Meredith Advances to Final Day of NCAAs - University of Wyoming Athletics
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Meredith Advances to Final Day of NCAAs
Meredith Advances to Final Day of NCAAs

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 17, 2017) – For the second-consecutive year, junior Bryce Meredith secured a top-eight finish at the NCAA Championships. On Friday morning, he moved on to the semifinals with an upset of No. 2 Kevin Jack to earn the second All-American honor of his career. 

With the win, Meredith became just the seventh Poke to earn All-American honors at least twice in a career, and just the first to earn the distinction in two-consecutive years since Alfonso Hernandez in 2012-13. 

"I'm proud of the guys today for stepping up and giving their all," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "It's hard to think anything other than All-American for Archie (Colgan), especially since he was so close. We have another day of wrestling tomorrow and are coming home with an All-American. That is definitely something to be proud of. Bryce (Meredith) is one of the few back-to-back All-Americans in the history of this program, which is unbelievable. Everyone knows how tough his weight class is and he just came up a little short today."

Junior Archie Colgan also shined on the second day of the championships for the Brown and Gold. He picked up two wins in the morning session to advance to the blood round against Paul Fox of Stanford. Senior Drew Templeman was the third and final Poke to pick up a win on Friday morning. Templeman ran away with a 10-2 major of Jake Gromacki of Clarion.  

An early takedown set the tone during the first bout for Wyoming and the second round consolation match for Templeman against Gromacki. The senior would go on and add another takedown plus a two-point nearfall in the final period to further his lead. The 10-2 major was not only the first bonus-point win for Templeman in St. Louis but also advanced him to face Sean Russell of Edinboro.

In the match against seventh-seeded Russell, Templeman scored right away to open the second period, but Russell had back-to-back takedowns to take a 4-1 lead in the third period. Templeman would go on and secure another escape but Russell claimed the match, 4-2. The senior ended his career with the Brown and Gold as a two-time NCAA qualifier with three wins at Nationals and 62 career victories. 

Meredith secured his All-American status and moved to the semifinals with a 6-5 upset decision over former teammate and No. 2 Kevin Jack of North Carolina State. Meredith scored first with a takedown but found himself down 3-2 after Jack tacked on a reversal in the second period. All tied at three at the beginning of the final period, Meredith recorded an escape and takedown to take back the lead. Jack scored another reversal with two seconds remaining, but it proved to be not enough as Meredith moved on the Friday night's semifinal.

During session IV, Meredith took on No. 6 George DiCamillo of Virginia in the semifinals. The junior came out hot with a perfect shot and takedown two seconds into the match. DiCamillo would counter with an escape and takedown of his own before Meredith did the same. DiCamillo added an escape late in the opening period but Meredith held on to a 5-4 lead. DiCamillo would add a takedown in each of the second and third periods and ultimately ride to a 10-7 decision over Meredith. Meredith is the lone Cowboy still alive at the NCAA Championships for Wyoming, which is sitting 23rd in the team standing, and return tomorrow for the wrestleback semifinals.

Senior Cole Mendenhall's tremendous career came to a close after a 6-4 sudden victory from Jordan Laster of Princeton on Friday morning. Laster scored a takedown late in the first period to put Mendenhall in a hole. The senior from Great Falls, Mont., would take a 3-2 lead with a two-point nearfall in the second period. Laster then scored an escape to tie the match at four and take it to extra time before stealing the win. Mendenhall earned 84 career victories for the Brown and Gold in addition making Nationals for the first time this season. 

A two-point nearfall for Colgan in the opening period against Victor Lopez of Bucknell would be all the junior needed to move on for another round of consolations. Colgan added a riding time point and took the match 3-1. Colgan went on to face Taleb Rahmani of Pitt on Friday morning.

In Colgan's second bout of the day, Rahmani scored the early escape in the second period but Colgan countered with a takedown and never looked back. Colgan added an escape, one takedown plus a riding time point to secure to 6-2 decision win and get himself within reach of All-American status.

In the blood round of 12 on Friday night, it came down to tiebreaker but Fox would hold on for the 5-4 decision over Colgan. The Westminster, Colo., native scored a takedown in the first period for an early lead but was unable to get much after that. Fox used a takedown and three escapes for the win. Colgan, who qualified for Nationals for the first time in his career, ended his junior season with a 36-10 record. 

In Branson Ashworth's consolation match on Friday morning, the redshirt sophomore was able to score first with an escape in the second period before Joseph Gunther of Iowa came right back with a takedown for a 2-1 advantage. Gunther added a takedown and a two-point nearfall in the final period to Ashworth's escape. The Spanish Fork, Utah, native and first time NCAA qualifier ended the year with a 36-9 record. 

"All the guys gave their all, I am extremely proud of the y way they wrestled, Branch added. "Our coaching staff hurts as much as they do. We know what they have invested in after what is a long season. We'll be wrestling tomorrow and we're happy that Bryce (Meredith) can represent Living Cowboy Tough."

Meredith will solidify his placement at the championships and be back in action tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. MT on ESPNU.

Wyoming Results
Champ. Round 1: Templeman dec. Conor Youtsey (UM), 4-3
Champ. Round 2: No. 2 Joey Dance (Va .Tech) maj. dec. Templeman, 12-2
Cons. Round 1: Templeman maj. dec. Jake Gromacki (Clarion), 10-2 
Cons. Round 2: No. 7 Sean Russell (Edin) dec. Templeman, 4-2

Champ. Round 1: Meredith major Nick Longo (OU), 12-4
Champ. Round 2: Meredith maj. dec. Jonathan Hathaway (Oregon State), 8-0
Quarterfinals: No. 10 Meredith dec. No. 2 Kevin Jack (NCST), 6-5
Semifinals: No. 6 George DiCamillo (UVA) dec. No. 10 Meredith, 10-7

Champ. Round 1: Anthony Collica (OSU) maj. dec. Mendenhall, 11-2
Cons. Round 1: Mendenhall dec. Sam Krivus (UVA), 4-1
Cons. Round 2: No. 16 Jordan Laster (Prin) dec. Mendenhall, 6-4 SV1

Champ. Round 1: Chase Delande (Edin) dec. No. 15 Colgan, 6-2
Cons. Round 1: No. 15 Colgan dec. Jake Danishek (Indiana), 9-6
Cons. Round 2: No. 15 Colgan dec. Victor Lopez (Buck), 3-1
Cons. Round 3: No. 15 Colgan dec. Taleb Rahmani (Pitt), 6-2
Blood Round: Paul Fox (Stanford) dec. Colgan, 5-4 TB1

Champ. Round 1: No. 14 Ashworth dec. Brian Hamann (NCST), 7-0
Champ. Round 2: No. 3 Vincenzo Joseph (PSU) maj. dec. No. 14 Ashworth, 12-4
Cons. Round of 3: Joseph Gunter (Iowa) dec. No. 14 Ashworth, 6-3
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