LARAMIE -- The Wyoming wrestling team opens the 2019-20 season Saturday when it hosts the Cowboy Open. Action begins at 9 a.m., at the War Memorial Fieldhouse.

About the Cowboy Open
The Cowboy Open has been an essential part of the Cowboy Wrestling program for decades. The first-ever Cowboy Open was held in 1974. With the exception of four seasons, the Pokes have hosted the event each season since. This year marks the 30th consecutive season that the Cowboys have hosted the open.

Follow the Event
Streaming for Saturday is available for a fee at flowrestling.org. Free live scores and brackets are also available at arena.flowrestling.org. Fans can also find links to coverage at gowyo.com/coverage.

About the Cowboys
Wyoming enters the 2019-20 season ranked 22nd in the preseason NWCA Poll. The Pokes returns six wrestlers who qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season and also have seven ranked by various publications in the preseason. Head Coach Mark Branch enters his 12th season at the helm of the Cowboys.

Cole Verner at 125 pounds, Montorie Bridges at 133, Sam Turner at 141, Hayden Hastings at 174, Tate Samuelson at 184 and Brian Andrews at HWT all return to this season’s squad as 2018-19 NCAA qualifiers. The Cowboys went 16-4 in duals last season and finished the year ranked 11th.

Preseason Individual Rankings

NameWeight ClassRankingPublication
Cole Verner12514thWIN Magazine
Montorie Bridges1337thTrackWrestling/WIN
Sam Turner14110thWIN
Hayden Hastings17416thFloWrestling
Tate Samuelson18416thWIN
Cale Davidson19723rdFlo
Brian AndrewsHWT13thWIN

Quotable: Head Coach Mark Branch
“It’s always exciting to get your first competition started. I think even more so, when we have the opportunity to do it at home, in our home facility and get the chance to host it, that’s a big deal. It gives us the chance to see every guy on the roster that’s healthy, compete.”

“There’s going to be a lot of questions answered. I always say that, because it’s true. We’re trying to hit the basics of what we need to hit and get to before we compete, but once we compete it’s going to be a whole new ballgame. We’ll come back next week with a whole new vision of things that we really need to focus and concentrate on. Until you go against other guys, it’s a guessing game in a lot of ways.”

“I’m most excited to see our guys out there in a different environment, to see where their shape is. They’re not going to be in the best shape yet, but it’s still going to be important for us to go out there and wrestle hard for seven minutes. We’re going to have a lot of answers next week and like I always say, you’re going to have a lot of direction and we’re going to know exactly what direction we’re pointing on Monday when we get back.”

Looking Back: 2018 Cowboy Open
The Cowboys crowned nine champions at last season’s Cowboy Open. Seven Pokes earned titles in the Elite Division while two snagged titles in the Amateur Division. Cole Moody was named Most Outstanding Wrestler in the Amateur Division.