Wyoming Wrestling Seeks Big Weekend at NCAA Championships
Six Wyoming wrestlers will be competing at the 2018 NCAA Championships in Cleveland Thursday through Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Seniors Bryce Meredith (141), Archie Colgan (157) and Chaz Polson (184) are joined by junior Branson Ashworth (165) and redshirt freshmen Montorie Bridges (133) and Sam Turner (149). The six qualified is the most since 2015.
Four of the six are seeded for the National Tournament, including Meredith, who earned the top seed at 141 pounds. He’s coming off a Big 12 Championship on March 4 and has won 25 consecutive matches.
For Meredith, the senior says it’s about checking off that final box on his list.
“I don’t really care where we’re at in the bracket. I don’t care who I have. At the end of the day Saturday, I want to be getting my hand raised and going out on top. That’s been the goal.”
If he can do it, Meredith would become only the second NCAA wrestling champion in school history. The two-time All-American would join Dick Ballinger of Cody, who won the 167 pound title in 1960, as the only national champs in Wyoming wrestling history.
Colgan, who is seeded No. 9 at 157, is looking forward to continuing his momentum after a Big 12 title March 4.
“Just ready to go, I guess. I think I have a good draw in the tournament. I mean I’m not looking past my first round guy, but I mean if all things go right, I like the draw that I have. I’m just excited to get going.”
The other seeded Cowboys are Bridges, who is No. 8 at 133, and Ashworth, who is No. 14 at 165. Turner and Polson, who snagged an at-large berth, are unseeded and will face a seeded opponent in their first round Thursday.
Wyoming head coach Mark Branch says it’s nice to have a group of guys going to the NCAA’s.
“Just seeing that improvement and seeing our numbers grow, and these guys sharing each other’s success, and not just sharing it, but I think learn from each other and feed off each other and support each other, there’s a reason the numbers grow.”
Branch also believes they can be a top 10 team.
“They can do it all. I believe in this group, and there’s nothing that should keep them from realizing their dreams this week.”
Branch feels it’s a group that can get it done, when it comes to All-Americans and national champions. Wyoming has had one All-American, Meredith, each of the past two years. The last time they have multiple was two in 2013.
Wrestling starts Thursday with the first round at 10 a.m., Mountain Time. You can watch action on the mats Thursday, Friday and Saturday on ESPNU. The semifinals are on ESPN Friday at 6 p.m. The finals will be broadcast on ESPN2 Saturday at 6 p.m.