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Wyoming's Hayden Hastings takes a moment during a break in his match with South Dakota State's Samuel Grove at their dual at the University of Wyoming Sports Complex Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10, 2019.

Brackets and seeding for the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships were released on Wednesday, laying the path toward a national championship for all seven qualifying Cowboys.

Sophomore Montorie Bridges’ conference final appearance gives him the No. 12 seed at 133 pounds, where he’ll face North Dakota State’s Cam Sykora (No. 21) in the first round. The two did not wrestle at the conference dual between NDSU and the Cowboys.

Sophomore Sam Turner earned the No. 21 seed for his second NCAA Championships appearance and will face Nicholas Gil of Navy (No. 10) in the first round.

Branson Ashworth will also make his second NCAA Championships appearance. The senior earned the No. 10 seed and will wrestle No. 23 Zach Finesilver of Duke.

Sheridan graduate Hayden Hastings was given the No. 25 seed at 174 pounds and he’ll wrestle No. 8 Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa in the first round.

Junior Cole Verner received the No. 23 seed and will square off with No. 10 Brent Fleetwood of North Dakota State. Fleetwood previously defeated the Green River graduate by 6-5 decision in the Cowboys’ dual victory over NDSU.

Freshman Tate Samuelson earned the No. 18 seed at 184 pounds. He’ll start against No. 15 Chip Ness of North Carolina. The two did not wrestle at the Cowboy Shootout in January.

Heavyweight Brian Andrews goes in seeded No. 19, giving the sophomore a first-round match with No. 14 AJ Nevills of Fresno State.

NCAA Championships begin March 21 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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