* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming wrestling team hits the road for the first time this season. The Cowboys travel to CSU Bakersfield on Friday at 8 p.m. before traveling to Cal Baptist on Saturday at 8 p.m.

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Wrestling twice in such close proximity is a difficult task. However, head coach Mark Branch is confident his guy can rise to the occasion this weekend.

“I think the guys are going to be energized by getting on a plane, feeling some California sunshine and getting a change of scenery,” Branch said. “The back-to-back weigh-in is always challenging, but the two-hour weigh-in rule will help ease a little of that.”

Wyoming is coming off a dual meet victory over Western Wyoming by a final a 31-10. Many of the Cowboys wrestled again later that afternoon/evening in an intrasquad format, and some of those results may slightly shake up the lineup in California.

“I felt like some of our older guys slipped back into some sloppy habits, and that was far from pleasing,” Branch said. “It also cost a few of them in their wrestle-offs and will give some young guys a shot this weekend. Our most impressive performances on Sunday came from some true freshmen, and that’s encouraging.”

Jore Volk logged a technical fall against the Mustangs and ascended as high as No. 14 in the latest 125-pound rankings. Gabe Willochell, who recorded a fall Sunday, made it a pair of Cowboys in the rankings this week, checking in as high as No. 26 at 141.

Aidan Noonan (149), Brett McIntosh (165), Ethan Ducca (184), Tyce Raddon (197) and Kevin Zimmer (HWT) rounded out the victors against Western Wyoming.

Wyoming’s last meeting with CSU Bakersfield occurred in 2020. The Cowboys claimed a 34-3 home victory.

The Roadrunners were 1-11 last season. They finished sixth at the six-team Pac-12 Championships.

Cal Baptist made its Big 12 debut a season ago. In their inaugural year in the league, the Lancers logged a victory over Wyoming, 22-10, in Laramie.

Cal Baptist finished the season at 3-12 overall and 1-6 in conference action. They placed 13th in the 13-team Big 12 Championships.

Following the trip to Southern California, Wyoming remains on the road for one of its invitationals. The Pokes participate in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite from Dec. 1-2.

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