PROVO, Utah (November 18) - The Cougars showed that they won't go down without a fight by winning the first meet of year, 22-15, over Ricks College in what may be the final season of wrestling at BYU.
Junior heavyweight Chris Miller lost a close match to Ricks' James Hummell, 8-7, to start things off for BYU down 0-3 in the team scoring. The lightweights then picked up the pace, leading the Cougars on a 19-3 run through the next six matches.
The meet featured spectacular performances by BYU's nationally ranked twosome of Aaron Holker and Rangi Smart. Holker, ranked No. 5 nationally at 141 pounds, outscored Ricks' Andy Messersmith 9-2, while No. 6 Smart took apart Bo Ward 13-4 to put the Cougars up 19-6. Other individual winners for BYU were Jose Enriquez (17-8), Trent Rollins (11-9), Rocky Smart (15-4) and Brandon Ruiz (7-6).
"I was really impressed with our starting lineup tonight," said BYU head coach Mark Schultz. "You expect some mistakes early in the season, but overall I thought we competed very well, especially for the first meet of the year."
The Cougars' next meet is the Southern Oregon Open November 20 in Ashland, Ore. Some of the best teams in the west will compete in the tournament, including No. 8 Boise State.
BYU- 22, Ricks- 15
125- Trent Rollins, BYU, dec., Ty Rollins, Ricks, 11-9
133- Jose Enriquez, BYU, maj. dec., Shane Machen, Ricks, 17-8
141- Aaron Holker, BYU, maj. dec., Andy Messersmith, Ricks, 9-2
149- Jeff Ireland, Ricks, dec., Chris Risenmay, BYU, 8-4
157- Rocky Smart, BYU, maj. dec., Brandon Riplinger, Ricks, 15-4
165- Rangi Smart, BYU, maj. dec., Bo Ward, Ricks, 13-4
174- Jed Clark, Ricks, pinned, Mitch Stevens, BYU, 0:22
184- Brent Duda, Ricks, dec., Adam Bendorf, BYU, 7-5
197- Brandon Ruiz, BYU, dec., Dale Boon, Ricks, 7-6
Hwt- James Hummell, Ricks, dec., Chris Miller, BYU, 8-7