* University of Wyoming athletics media relations release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Wrestling Cowboy squad will officially start their season on Saturday as the host the Cowboy Open at the War Memorial Fieldhouse. Wrestling is set to begin at 9 a.m. MT featuring a field that includes multiple All-American’s and numerous nationally ranked wrestlers.

“I am really fired up to see our team compete as a whole. This tournament will be much different than previous year and will be much smaller but more competitive than ever,” UW head wrestling coach Mark Branch said. “There will be several ranked match-ups throughout the day that any fan will want to see. We will really be able to gauge our team and set a line-up for the following week in Vegas.”

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The Cowboy open will have a new look this season in more ways than one.

It will be a much more competitive format this year featuring one 16-man bracket at every weight class moving away from the multiple bracket structure of past tournaments. This year’s Cowboy Open will also feature two ranked teams and has the possibility to produce multiple ranked matchups.

After coming to Laramie last year for a dual meet, the No. 3 Ranked Arizona State Sun Devils will return to the high plains for the Cowboy Open. The Sun Devils will bring a roster that features six All-Americans and a total of eight ranked wrestlers.

Conference foes Utah Valley and Northern Colorado will also be sending athletes to compete. Rounding out the field of teams will be Chadron State, CSU-Pueblo and Western Wyoming.

Wyoming will have numerous grapplers competing both attached and unattached as the Cowboy starters will look to build on the impressive season, they had a year ago. All ten returning starters will be in action on Saturday including All-American Stephen Buchanan who is ranked seventh at 197 pounds to start the season.

Brian Andrews and Hayden Hastings are also ranked in the top ten to start the season coming in at eighth and ninth 285 and 174 pounds respectively. Tate Samuelson and Jacob Wright both begin the new campaign ranked 11th at 184 and 157 pounds respectively. Cole Moody and Chase Zollmann round out the Cowboy grapplers that will begin the season ranked.

Live stats and video will be available on FloWrestling.

Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium

Did you know it would take the populations of Gillette (32,857), Laramie (32,381), Rock Springs (23,319), Sheridan (17,844) and Wright (1,200) to create a sellout inside Michigan's famed 107,601-seat Big House, the largest college football stadium in the nation?

For those of you not familiar with the Cowboy State, those are Wyoming's third through sixth most inhabited cities, along with the small mining town in Campbell County.

- Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium

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