BYU's wrestling team has struggled all year at the heavyweight spot, but at the Western Athletic Conference wrestling tournament Friday night its heavyweight helped bring the Cougars the WAC wrestling title.
BYU finished the night with 933/4 points followed by Wyoming with 771/4. New Mexico finished third with 441/2, Air Force was fourth with 381/2 and Eastern Washington, an associate WAC member, finished with 16.BYU's Rick Evans, who normally wrestles at 177 and hasn't wrestled since December, skipped the chance to redshirt this year and decided to wrestle at heavyweight for the WAC tournament. This proved to be the difference for the Cougars as Evans beat Wyoming's heavyweight and number one seed Bill Cogdill, 10-9, in the semifinals. He lost to Air Force's Scott Ulrich, 3-2, in the final.
BYU Coach Alan Albright was named WAC coach of the year.
The Cougars placed a wrestler in the final of every weight class except 118 and BYU won four of a possible nine weight class championships.
BYU's champions included Scott Eastmond, a 1-0 winner over Wyoming's Craig Walters at 126 pounds; Robbie Winter, a 6-2 winner over Wyoming's Chad Taylor at 142; John Kohls, a 5-2 winner over Wyoming's Mark Voloshin at 167; and Corey Veach, a 10-4 winner over New Mexico's Steve Medina at 177.
The first upset in the tournament came in the first round when unseeded Gene Wilcox of BYU decisioned second seed Matt Doyle of New Mexico 5-2. Wilcox then defeated the third seed Tom Herring of Air Force 11-5 before losing in the finals to Wyoming's Dave Meyers 4-3 with riding time giving the win to the Cowboys.
Wyoming, the defending WAC champion, won three weight championships. Mike Donovan won the first one for the Cowboys beating BYU's Mike Armstrong 4-3 at 134. Meyers won the next championship at the 158 weight. Brian Hagan finished the night for the Cowboys with a 9-6 victory over Mark Willis of BYU.
New Mexico won two championships. Matt Quinn beat Thad Allen of Air Force 11-3 to win the 118 division. The Lobos' TeDon Fleischman, who was named WAC outstanding wrestler of the year, won the 150 division.
Although Eastern Washington is not part of the WAC its wrestling team was invited to participate. This helped to beef the field up to 45 wrestlers. WAC members that have wrestling programs are Air Force, BYU, New Mexico and Wyoming.