UVU wrestling: Wolverines welcome No. 16 Wyoming, hosts UVU Open

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3 2013 2:21 p.m. MST

OREM, Utah — After beginning the season on the road for two whole months, the Utah Valley University wrestling team will return to UVU's PE Building to host No. 16 Wyoming on Friday at 7 p.m. The Wolverines will then host the all-day UVU Open on Saturday at the same venue.

Live results for both events can be found by visiting TrackWrestling.com. Live results and video for Friday's dual will also be available at WolverineGreen.com.

Friday's dual against the Cowboys will be the Western Wrestling Conference opener for both teams. The Wolverines finished with a 1-5 conference record a year ago, while Wyoming won the league last year with an undefeated 6-0 mark. The WWC title was Wyoming's third in the last four years.

Five wrestlers competed for UVU at the 50th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships last weekend, and senior 149-pounder Josh Wilson led the way by placing eighth. Wilson, who has now placed at the top-notch tournament in each of the past two seasons, entered the field seeded eighth and knocked off the 16th-ranked David Habat of Edinboro en route to his placement. Wilson finished with a 5-3 record, while redshirt freshman Jade Rauser (125 pounds) and sophomore David Prieto too picked up wins by going 2-2 and 1-2, respectively.

The Wolverines are 1-1 but haven't competed in a dual meet since Nov. 10th when they split two duals at the Campbell University Duals in Buies Creek, N.C. UVU topped the host Campbell Camels 32-6 but then fell to Bloomsburg, 25-10.

Jade Rauser leads UVU this season with a 15-5 overall record, while Wilson and junior Monte Schmalhaus (174) are next with identical 14-6 records.

About Wyoming: The Cowboys are currently ranked 16th in the latest NWCA/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll and are 2-2 so far on the season. Wyoming's two wins have come over No. 10 Oklahoma and No. 24 Boise State, while their two losses have come to No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 9 Nebraska.

The `Pokes are led by the reigning WWC Wrestler of the Year and 4th-ranked senior Alfonso Hernandez (197). Hernandez is 20-1 so far this year. Behind him, 157-pound sophomore Andy McCulley is ranked 12th in the nation with an 18-4 mark.

Friday will be the ninth all-time meeting between the two conference foes with Wyoming leading the series 7-1. The Wolverines' lone win over the Cowboys came on Jan. 21, 2006 in Laramie.

About UVU Open: Saturday will mark the 6th annual UVU Open. The wrestling will begin on four mats at UVU's PE Building at 9 a.m. Over 100 wrestlers are expected to participate, and the tournament is anticipated to conclude around 5 p.m.

Wrestlers from Wyoming, Boise State, CSU Bakersfield and host UVU will be in attendance Saturday, as well as grapplers from Colorado Mesa, Grand Canyon, Great Falls, Northwest College, Western State and Western Wyoming.

Registration is still open and those interested can register at TrackWrestling.com.

Last year Blake Mangum (125) and Glenn Terrano (141) led UVU by winning titles at their home tournament. In all, eight Wolverines placed a year ago.

Up Next for the Wolverines: The Wolverines will take a week off but will return to the mat at home on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. against Arizona State of the Pac-12 Conference.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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