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Oklahoma State wrestling: 5 things to watch for No. 11 Cowboys at Air Force, Wyoming

The Cowboys will have two Big 12 road duals Saturday.

Wyoming Cowboys vs Oklahoma State Cowboys, NCAA Wrestling Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The No. 11-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team heads to the Rocky Mountains for a day-night Big 12 dual doubleheader Saturday at Air Force and Wyoming.

OSU (10-2, 5-1 Big 12) will face Air Force (3-4, 1-3) at noon in Colorado Springs, Colorado, then take a three-and-half hour bus trip north to face UW (7-8, 3-2) at 8 p.m. in Laramie, Wyoming. UW wrestlers will weigh in at 1 p.m.

The Cowboy Showdown will be at UW’s Arena-Auditorium (15,028 capacity). It’s the second time in less than a month (a 19-15 loss Jan. 25 at Northern Iowa) a conference affiliate team has moved their dual against OSU to their basketball arena in hopes of a better turnout.

OSU, who has won three straight since its loss at UNI, will be seeking its first road dual weekend sweep of the season. Air Force has lost two of its past three duals with its lone win a 22-14 victory against Utah Valley. UW had its three-dual streak end in a 22-19 home loss to Fresno State on Thursday in which they were awarded two forfeits.

Series history

OSU has outscored Air Force 79-5 in two outings: 40-5 win Jan. 6, 2007, and 39-0 victory Feb. 8, 2019 in Stillwater. OSU is 23-0-1 against UW with a 12-12 tie on March 2, 1957 in Laramie.

Familiar faces

OSU head coach John Smith will see three of his former wrestlers on the opposing team’s staffs this weekend with UW head coach Mark Branch and associate head coach Ethan Kyle and Air Force director of operations Chandler Rogers.

5 things to watch

How will No. 1 Boo Lewallen bounce back after his first loss?

Lewallen squandered a 3-0 lead after two periods as he sustained his first loss of the season, 5-3, to Missouri’s Brock Mauller in a top-five showdown at 149 pounds last Sunday. Lewallen is a heavy favorite in both of his matches this weekend, but UW’s Jaron Jensen will be more of a test.

165: No. 7 Travis Wittlake (22-1) vs. Randy Meneweather (22-5)

If you need a reason to watch the OSU-Air Force dual, this match is it. Meneweather, a senior, leads Air Force in wins (22), falls (14) and dual meet points (20) this season. Wittlake, a redshirt freshman, has won nine straight with four bonus-point victories (one technical fall, two major decisions) since his lone loss to then-No. 7 Shane Griffith of Stanford at the Southern Scuffle.

Does No. 10 Joe Smith wrestle both duals?

Joe Smith is listed for the Air Force dual, but Andrew Shomers accompanies him on the bout sheet for the UW dual. It’s interesting that it’s not the other way around with UW’s Hayden Hastings (19-6) being the stronger opponent compared to Air Force’s Cody Surratt (18-10). If Joe does wrestle Hastings that’ll be the dual’s marquee match. For what it’s worth, Shomers has won three straight by major decision.

How heavyweight is managed

John Smith said OSU defensive end Brock Martin has improved his conditioning in the past few weeks, but isn’t ready yet to wrestle. That leaves OSU with Austin Harris (4-8) and Cornelius Putnam (1-2) at heavyweight. Smith has split starts between the two, and it won’t be surprising for him to go with Putnam, who is coming off his first win, to face the stronger opponent in UW’s Brian Andrews (23-7).

Conditioning

Both Air Force and UW campuses sit at more than 7,000 feet of elevation, which is quiet change in altitude from 984 feet in Stillwater. Smith didn’t think it’d be an issue for his team: “Altitude is altitude... don’t over exaggerate it.” OSU competing at Air Force as a tune up for the Cowboy Showdown might help them in a dual where upsets have happened in the past.


Lineups: No. 11 Oklahoma State at Air Force

125: No. 4 Nick Piccininni (20-1) vs. Sidney Flores (15-5)

133: Reece Witcraft (13-7) vs. Jared Van Vleet (14-13)

141: Dusty Hone (16-6) vs. Lenny Petersen (20-5)

149: No. 5 Boo Lewallen (15-1) vs. Dylan Martinez (13-13)

157: No. 20 Wyatt Sheets (14-6) vs. Trey Brisker (16-11)

165: No. 7 Travis Wittlake (22-1) vs. Randy Meneweather (22-5)

174: No. 10 Joe Smith (5-2) vs. Cody Surratt (18-10)

184: No. 16 Anthony Montalvo (16-5) vs. Jake Thompson (16-8)

197: No. 11 Dakota Geer (18-4) vs. Casey Jumps (9-12)

285: Austin Harris (4-8) - OR - Cornelius Putnam (1-2) vs. Kayne Hutchison (14-11)

Lineups: No. 11 Oklahoma State at Wyoming

125: No. 4 Nick Piccininni (20-1) vs. Jake Svihel (13-6)

133: Reece Witcraft (13-7) vs. No. 8 Montorie Bridges (26-4)

141: Dusty Hone (16-6) vs. Trevor Jeffries (19-15)

149: No. 5 Boo Lewallen (15-1) vs. Jaron Jensen (17-13)

157: No. 20 Wyatt Sheets (14-6) vs. Dewey Krueger (18-11)

165: No. 7 Travis Wittlake (22-1) vs. Cole Moody (16-14)

174: No. 10 Joe Smith (5-2) - OR - Andrew Shomers (11-7) vs. Hayden Hastings (19-6)

184: No. 16 Anthony Montalvo (16-5) vs. Tate Samuelson (17-9)

197: No. 11 Dakota Geer (18-4) vs. Stephen Buchanan (23-8)

285: Austin Harris (4-8) - OR - Cornelius Putnam (1-2) vs. Brian Andrews (23-7)


How to watch

No. 11 Oklahoma State (10-2, 5-1 Big 12) at Air Force (3-4, 1-3)

When: Noon, Saturday

Where: East Gym; Colorado Springs, Colo.

Live stream/stats: TrackWrestling.com

Radio: KSPI-AM 780/Pete 94.3 FM

No. 11 Oklahoma State (10-2, 5-1 Big 12) at Wyoming (7-8, 3-2)

When: 8 p.m., Saturday

Where: Arena-Auditorium; Laramie, Wyo.

Live stream: FloWrestling.org

Live stats: TrackWrestling.com

Radio: Hot 93.7 KSPI-FM