The Utah Valley University wrestling team will unveil its 2017-18 roster to the public for the first time on Friday, Oct. 27, when it hosts its annual Green and Black Intrasquad Dual at Lockhart Arena. The exhibition contest is free of charge and begins at 7 p.m.
"We're excited to get out and compete. We've got some really good young talent, along with some experience and a lot of confidence on this team," head UVU coach Greg Williams said. "We've been practicing for quite a while, so it's going to be fun for them to get out and begin competing. Obviously, there will be some things to clean up early with there being a number of freshmen and sophomores in the lineup, but they are an experienced group and it should be a fun night."
UVU, which went 5-6 in dual meets and 2-3 in Big 12 Conference action a season ago, welcomes back a pair of NCAA qualifiers this season, as well as a total of eight returning starters. Senior heavyweight Dustin Dennison and sophomore 197-pounder Tanner Orndorff lead the way after both qualifying for the NCAA Championships last season. Dennison, Orndorff and sophomore 174-pounder Kimball Bastian enter the 2017-18 season nationally ranked in the TrackWrestling Preseason Poll, as Dennison comes in at 16th, Orndorff in 21st and Bastian in 25th in their respective weight classes.
The Wolverines also welcome back fellow 2016-17 starters Jarod Maynes (133/141 pounds), Grant LaMont (149), Raider Lofthouse (157), Koy Wilkinson (165) and Will Sumner (184). Williams will also look to mix a number of redshirt freshmen into its starting lineup in 2017-18, which includes 2016 Junior World Bronze Medalist Taylor LaMont (125), Durbin Lloren (133), Matt Findlay (141) and Gary Jantzer (184).
Friday's dual will be contested on two mats and feature 14 matches. It will also be streamed live online via GoUVU.
Up next for UVU
Following Friday's exhibition, Utah Valley will head to Clarion, Pennsylvania, to officially open its 2017-18 campaign at the Clarion Duals on Friday, Nov. 3. There, UVU will face off against Big 12 foe West Virginia, the host Clarion Golden Eagles and Kent State. The Wolverines will then remain in Pennsylvania on opening weekend to take part in the Clarion Open on Sunday, Nov. 5.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.