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Cal Poly to Host Wyoming, Air Force for Non-Conference Dual Meets

Cal Poly to Host Wyoming, Air Force for Non-Conference Dual Meets


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly wrestling's Alumni and Supporter Weekend features a crab bake dinner, a pre-match social and non-conference dual meets against No. 22 Wyoming and Air Force along with a new venue for the latter match.

While Friday's match against Wyoming at 7 p.m. will be held inside Mott Athletics Center, Sunday's noon dual versus Air Force is set to be contested in the Performing Arts Center's Harman Hall.

A pre-match social prior to the Wyoming dual will be held Friday from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. in the tent behind Mott Athletics Center.

The Alumni and Supporter Crab Bake Dinner is scheduled for Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Point San Luis Conference Room at Avila Lighthouse Suites, 550 Front Street in Avila Beach.

VIP seating is available for Sunday's match against Air Force. Alumni and supporters of the wrestling team will be honored at intermission.

All proceeds from the weekend events benefit the Cal Poly wrestling program.

With seven dual meets remaining on the 2016-17 schedule, Cal Poly already has more wins than in any year since the 2011-12 season when the Mustangs were 6-7.

Idle last week, Cal Poly is 4-5 after defeating West Virginia 19-18 and falling to Arizona State 30-15 during the first week of the New Year. Spencer Empey's 2-0 decision at 285 pounds, the final bout of the dual meet, lifted the Mustangs over the Mountaineers.

Cal Poly is led by 157-pounder Colt Shorts, the first Mustang to be nationally ranked in two years. Shorts currently is ranked No. 18 by Amateur Wrestling News, No. 19 by The Open Mat, No. 20 by InterMat and No. 25 by, sporting a 16-9 record with four falls.

Mustang 141-pounder Colton Schilling is 12-6 with eight falls, including six pins in his last seven wins. The other was by technical fall.

Other Mustangs with winning marks are 174-pounder Travis Berridge (10-5), 184-pounder Mitch Woods (8-5) and Empey (12-11). Several others are at or close to the .500 mark, including 165-pounder Luke Wilson (8-8), 133-pounder Yoshito Funakoshi (8-9) (pictured above), 149-pounder Joshy Cortez (10-12) and 197-pounder J.T. Goodwin (6-7).

Cal Poly's four dual meet victories were against San Francisco State, No. 27 Indiana, Cal Baptist and No. 22 West Virginia.

Wyoming will bring a deceptive 2-5 record to San Luis Obispo, defeating Iowa State and Oregon State but falling to Nebraska, American, North Carolina, Army and South Dakota State.

Five Cowboy wrestlers are in the national rankings this week, led by Bryce Meredith. The junior 141-pounder is ranked No. 8 by several organizations and sports a 19-4 record to date. He was 29-5 a year ago en route to a No. 2 finish at the NCAA Division I National Championship.

Also in the top 20 this week are No. 11 Branson Ashworth (26-4) at 165 pounds, No. 17 Cole Mendenhall (21-5) at 149 and No. 18 Archie Colgan (24-5) at 157. Cowboy 125-pounder Drew Templeman (10-5) is ranked as high as No. 14.

Wyoming is coached by Mark Branch, who has guided the Cowboys to a 82-43 dual meet record in eight-plus seasons and four Western Wrestling Conference dual meet titles. Branch is a four-time NCAA All-American with two individual titles and a pair of runner-up finishes from 1994-97 at Oklahoma State.

Cal Poly is 4-5 all-time against the Cowboys, dropping a 35-2 decision a year ago in Laramie. The Mustangs were 4-0 against the Cowboys, capped by an 18-16 win in San Luis Obispo during the 2010-11 season, but have lost five straight dual meets to the Cowboys since.

Air Force takes a 4-3 dual meet record into Friday's match at Stanford. The Falcons own victories over UNC-Pembroke, Simon Fraser, Cal Baptist and Western State (Colorado) and lost to North Carolina State, South Dakota State and Utah Valley.

The Falcons are coached by former Upper Iowa wrestler and head coach Sam Barber, in his third season at Air Force after serving five years as a Falcon assistant. Barber also was a head coach at Augsburg College (Minn.) and coached on the international level for 12 years.

Air Force has no nationally ranked wrestlers, but the lineup is full of wrestlers with winning marks, including 125-pounder Drew Romero (10-8), 133-pounder Dylan Hyder (12-10), 141-pounder Lyle Plummer (12-9), 149-pounder Jerry McGinty (12-7), 157-pounder Dane Robbins (14-8), 165-pounder Alex Lopouchanski (17-13), 197-pounders Anthony McLaughlin (13-6) and Parker Hines (9-6) and 285-pounder Kerry Powers (10-7).

Cal Poly has never defeated Air Force in four tries. The Falcons edged the Mustangs 20-19 two years ago in San Luis Obispo, overcoming a 19-10 deficit by winning the final three bouts.

Next week, coach Jon Sioredas' Mustangs wrestle North Dakota State and CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Righetti High School in Santa Maria.

Probable Lineups
Cal Poly (4-5)
125 - Isaac Blackburn (3-9), Sophomore, Auburn, CA
133 - Yoshito Funakoshi (8-9), Sophomore, Torrance, CA
141 - Colton Schilling (12-6), Junior, Sweet Home, OR
149 - Joshy Cortez (10-12), Sophomore, Temecula, CA
157 - No. 19 Colt Shorts (16-9), Senior, Canonsburg, PA
165 - Luke Wilson (8-8), Junior, Santa Maria, CA
174 - Xavier Johnson (4-5), Senior, Brentwood, CA or Travis Berridge (10-5), Senior, Brandon, FL
184 - Sohrab Movahedi (7-5), Junior, Northridge, CA or Mitch Woods (8-5), Senior, Camino, CA
197 - J.T. Goodwin (6-7), Senior, Stockton, CA
285 - Spencer Empey (12-11), Junior, Sparks, NV

Wyoming (2-5)
125 — No. 14 Drew Templeman, Sr., Orting, Wash. (10-5)
133 — Gunnar Woodburn, Sr. Claremore, Okla. (9-10)
141 — No. 8 Bryce Meredith, Jr., Cheyenne, Wyo. (19-4)
149 — No. 17 Cole Mendenhall, Sr., Great Falls, Mont. (21-5)
157 — No. 18  Archie Colgan, Jr., Westminster, Colo. (24-5)
165 — No. 11 Branson Ashworth, So., Spanish Fork, Utah (26-4)
174 — Kyle Pope, Jr., Bakersfield, Calif. (16-10)/ Lucas Lovvorn, RFr., Holton, Kans. (15-4)
184 — Luke Paine, Jr., Billings, Mont. (8-11)
197 — Nate Shaw, Sr., Bettendorf, Iowa (6-9)
285 — Brandon Tribble, Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo. (8-13)

Air Force (4-3)
125 — Drew Romero (10-8), Jr., La Junta, CO
133 — Dylan Hyder (12-10), Sr., Yelm, WA
141 — John Twomey (12-14), So., South Huntington, NY or Lyle Plummer (12-9), Jr., Dayton, OH
149 — Jerry McGinty (12-7), Sr., Colorado Springs, CO
157 — Dane Robbins (14-8), Jr., Fairfax, VA
165 — Alex Lopouchanski (17-13 overall), So., Ft. Lauderdale, FL
174 — Michael Billingsley (8-11), Jr., Winnemucca, NV
184 — Zen Ikehara (3-6), Jr., Mililani, HI
197 — Anthony McLaughlin (13-6), So., Cleveland, OH or Parker Hines (9-6), Sr., Ellsworth, WI
285 — Kerry Powers (10-7), Fr., Sheridan, WY