LARAMIE, WYO. - The University of Northern Iowa wrestling team (5-4; 3-1) fell to No. 12-ranked Wyoming (5-2, 2-0) Sunday. The 27-12 decision was UNI's first Western Wrestling Conference loss of the season.
The Cowboys won seven of ten matches, including four of the afternoon's last five matches. Two key victories came at 141 and 149 pounds, as Wyoming's Chase Smith (141) and McCade Ford (149) both edged their opponents, Levi Wolfensperger (141) and Seth Noble (149), by one point. Smith and Ford both used late escapes in the third period to propel themselves to wins.
Joe Colon (133) was UNI's top competitor of the afternoon. The redshirt sophomore earned a technical fall over No. 17-ranked Zach Zehner. Colon, ranked No. 12 himself, is now 3-1 versus ranked opponents. He is also the only remaining Panther to have an undefeated dual record at 5-0.
Ryan Loder (184) had an undefeated dual record coming into the contest, but No. 1-ranked Joe LeBlanc left Loder at 8-1, after he defeated the NCAA's No. 6-ranked wrestler with a 10-5 decision. LeBlanc, a senior, now boasts a 21-1 overall record, while Loder, a sophomore, is 24-2.
Junior David Bonin (157) and Blayne Beale (285) provided the two other match victories for UNI. Bonin tied the dual at 9-9 halfway through, after he scored a 13-3 major decision over the Cowboys' Dakota Friesth. From that point, Wyoming won the next four matches to go up 27-9. No. 3-ranked Shane Onufer (165) earned a technical fall over UNI's Riley Banach, and Patrick Martinez (174) pinned the Panthers' Onni Prestidge during that run.
UNI will return home next weekend for three duals, taking on Iowa State Friday, as well as North Dakota State and South Dakota State Sunday.
125: #17 Michael Martinez (WYO) dec. Cruse Aarhus (UNI), 6-2 (3-0 WYO)
133: #12 Joe Colon (UNI) tech. fall #17 Zach Zehner (WYO), 21-4, 7:00 (5-3 UNI)
141: Chase Smith (WYO) dec. Levi Wolfensperger (UNI), 7-6 (6-5 WYO)
149: McCade Ford (WYO) dec. Seth Noble (UNI), 6-5 (9-5 WYO)
157: David Bonin (UNI) maj. dec. Dakota Friesth (WYO), 13-3 (9-9 Tie)
165: #3 Shane Onufer (WYO) tech. fall Riley Banach (UNI), 15-0, 7:00 (14-9 WYO)
174: Patrick Martinez (WYO) FALL Onni Prestidge (UNI), 4:45 (20-9 WYO)
184: #1 Joe LeBlanc (WYO) dec. #6 Ryan Loder (UNI), 10-5 (23-9 WYO)
197: #8 Alfonso Hernandez (WYO) maj. Taylor Kettman (UNI), 12-3 (27-9)
285: Blayne Beale (UNI) dec. L.J. Helbig (WYO), 11-8 (27-12 WYO)