The University of Wyoming wrestling team came up on the short end of a 20-15 decision to No. 3 Oklahoma State on Tuesday in Cheyenne, but former Central standout Bryce Meredith stole the show.
In the final match of the night at Storey Gym, No. 4 Meredith, going against two-time defending national champ Dean Heil, got an escape in the third overtime for the 2-1 sudden victory at 141 pounds.
“Outside the loss, tonight was tremendous,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “It was great to see the hometown kid get that victory. The support this program gets from around the state is unbelievable.”
The top-ranked Heil had won 55 consecutive matches, including a victory over Meredith in the 2016 national championship match.
It was the third consecutive victory over a Top 5 opponent for Meredith, who defeated No. 5 Jaydin Eierman of Missouri and No. 2 Kevin Jack of North Carolina State in winning the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 17.
Earlier Tuesday, Meredith was named the USA Wrestler of the Week by TheMat.com.
Wyoming jumped out to a 9-0 lead against Oklahoma State, with Sam Turner at 149, Archie Colgan at 157 and Branson Ashworth at 165 all winning by decision.
Oklahoma State then won the next five matches to take control of the match with a 20-9 lead. UW suffered tough losses at 174 and 184 with Kyle Pope and Chaz Polson both dropping 8-7 decisions.
The visitors were able to boost their lead thanks to bonus points in the next three weight classes. They got technical falls at 197 and heavyweight and a major decision at 125 heading into the final two matches.
At 133, Wyoming redshirt freshman Montorie Bridges used an escape in the final 45 seconds to earn an 11-10 decision over No. 3 Kaid Brock.
“Cheyenne showed up tonight and our guys could feel it,” Branch said. “I loved the way we started the dual, and it really showed we can fight and compete with the top teams out there. It burns because we were close. We have a number of things to look at and go from there.”
Oklahoma State 20, Wyoming 15
Tuesday, at Cheyenne
149: Sam Turner, UW, dec. No. 10 Geo Martinez, 4-3.
157: No. 17 Archie Colgan, UW, dec. Jonce Blaylock, 3-1.
165: No. 15 Branson Ashworth, UW, dec, No. 6 Chandler Rogers, 5-2.
174: No. 10 Jacobe Smith, OSU, dec. Kyle Pope, 8-7.
184: Keegan Moore, OSU, dec. Chaz Polson, 8-7.
197: No. 4 Preston Weigel, OSU, tech fall Cody Vigoren, 15-0.
HWT: No. 8 Derek White, OSU, tech fall Hunter Mullins, 17-2.
125: No. 3 Nick Piccininni, OSU, maj dec Drake Foster, 14-1.
133: No. 20 Montorie Bridges, UW, dec. No. 3 Kaid Brock, 11-10.
141: No. 4 Bryce Meredith, UW, dec. No. 1 Dean Heil, 2-1.