Wyoming Boosts National Reputation with Reno Tournament of Champions Team Title

Updated: December 20, 2010

The University of Wyoming wrestling program boosted its national reputation in a big way Sunday at a prestigious event in Reno, Nev.

The ‘Pokes took to the mats in the Reno Tournament of Champions in an event that features some of the top teams and wrestlers from across the nation. With five wrestlers placing in the top five of their weight classes, the Cowboys scored 106 points to win the team title, edging out perennial powerhouse Boise State by 1.5 points. As a team, Wyoming went 41-20 in its matches.

It’s the first time Wyoming has won the event in its history.

“It’s a very big step for the program, especially with being able to come into a tournament and beat a team like Boise State,” Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. “They’re a very strong team and I think they’re probably ranked in the top five in most polls. To come in after we’ve been struggling…the big key was we came out and wrestled well early. We put ourselves in a position to stay in there. Our kids kept fighting and clawing to stay in there. It’s a huge deal for this program.”

After some disappointing performances the last few weeks, Branch was impressed with the Cowboys’ ability to bounce back.

“We talk about how important it is to wrestle for your team,” the coach said. “It took a huge effort. You’ve got to be prepared to scrap and fight and claw. Our goal wasn’t to come in and win this tournament, it was to come in and wrestle hard. I don’t think any of us expected to walk away with the team title. It’s a first for this program, for sure.”

Junior Joe LeBlanc, ranked No. 1 by several publications, won the 184-pound title for Wyoming, beating Luke Rebertes of Navy in the championship match with an 11-4 decision. He went 5-0 in the event, with three pins and one major decision.

2010 Reno Tournament of Champions Top 10 Team Scores
1. Wyoming – 106
2. Boise State 104.5
3. Cal State Bakersfield 98.5
4. Arizona State 83
5. Ohio 82.5
6. Tennessee-Chattanooga 75
7. Navy 70
8. Stanford 60.5
9. Cal Poly 60.5
10. Buffalo 54

2010 Reno Tournament of Champions College Team Scores

2010 Reno Tournament of Champions Individual Brackets