For the last 12 years, either BYU or Wyoming has claimed the Western Athletic Conference wrestling title, and this year is expected to be the same when BYU hosts the tournament today in the Smith Fieldhouse. Finals begin at 7 p.m. There is a $2 admission charge.
New Mexico is considered a darkhorse contender for the title, and Eastern Washington, an associate WAC member for the second year, and Air Force Academy round out the field. Wyoming won last year, 95.75 to 93.25 for BYU. Dual records for the schools are: BYU and New Mexico each 4-5, Wyoming 7-6, Air Force 7-7 and EWU 10-4.In addition to the team title, individual wrestlers will contend for 19 berths to the NCAA Championships. The 10 WAC champions and nine wild-card selections advance to the NCAA meet March 16-18 at Oklahoma City.
Three wrestlers will be back to defend their WAC titles: New Mexico's Gary Roberts at 126 pounds; BYU's Jon Kohls at 167; and Wyoming's Bryan Hagan at 190. Former WAC champions who will be in action seeking additional titles include UNM's Tedon Fleshman at 150 and BYU's Chris Humphreys at 150, Mark Willis at 190 and Rick Evans at heavyweight.