University of Wyoming sophomore wrestler Stephen Buchanan became Wyoming’s 36th NCAA All-American on Friday during the NCAA Championships inside the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

He is the 13th Cowboy to earn All-American honors during the Mark Branch era that began in 2008 as coach for UW wrestling. Buchanan is also the first Wyoming All-American since Bryce Meredith and Montorie Bridges in 2018.

“Having Stephen come in (Friday night) and be an All-American is what we talk about all year,” Branch said in a news release. “That’s what it’s all about … great thing for the program and a great thing for Stephen. Now we will refocus and try to get his hand raised one more time.”

Buchanan (197 pounds) faced Michigan’s No. 1 Myles Amine in the quarterfinals. Buchanan would hang with the top-seeded opponent before losing a tight 7-6 decision.

Buchanan’s loss set up a win or go home match against Purdue’s No. 19 Thomas Penola. Buchanan scored a late first-period takedown and controlled the rest of the match for a 6-2 win.

Buchanan will wrap up his NCAA Tournament today against No. 15 Michael Beard (PSU) in the seventh-place match.

Redshirt junior Jacob Wright’s NCAA Tournament run ended just short of All-American honors, with a 10-2 loss to Iowa’s No. 5 Kaleb Young in the blood round. Wright (157) entered as the 23rd seed and was a match away from earning a top-eight spot.

On the consolation side of the bracket, redshirt junior Hayden Hastings (174) picked up a win over Northern Colorado’s No. 13 Jackson Hemauer, who defeated Hastings at the Big 12 Championships. Hastings got revenge by controlling this match from whistle to whistle and winning 8-1.

At heavyweight, senior Brian Andrews knocked off Oklahoma’s No. 19 Josh Heindselman (OU) 3-1 in sudden victory.

The Cowboys are in 25th place as a team with 15.5 team points. The placing rounds start at 9 a.m today.

Opening rounds

On Thursday, Wright started with an upset win over Oklahoma’s No. 10 Justin Thomas. Wright lost to Thomas at the Big 12 Championships two weeks ago, but was able to flip the script in St. Louis. The match was settled in overtime when Wright tallied 22 seconds of riding time to give him the tiebreaker and the 5-4 victory to advance to the round of 16.

Wright had another tight match against Central Michigan’s No. 26 Johnny Lovett. With the match tied 1-1 after three periods Wright won in overtime by escaping and riding out Lovett for the 2-1 victory and a spot in the quarterfinals.

“After getting an opportunity taken away last year, I don’t want to the man standing across from me taking another one away.” Wright said in a news release. “I’m excited to keep the thing going, I feel like my best is yet to come.”

Buchanan picked up his first career NCAA Tournament win by pinning Oregon State’s No. 25 J.J. Dixon at 3 minutes, 34 seconds in his round of 32 match. Buchanan followed a pin in 1:59 against West Virginia’s No. 9 Noah Adams, beating him for the fourth time this season and advancing to the quarterfinals.

Hastings was tested against Drexel’s No. 19 Michael O’Malley before securing a reversal in the third period for a 4-2 win to advance to the next round.

Andrews ended the morning session with a win against Virginia’s No. 20 Quinn Miller. After a 3-3 tie after the first period, Andrews scored a takedown and an escape for the 6-4 victory.

Redshirt sophomore Cole Moody (165) and junior Tate Samuelson (184) picked up wins in the consolation bracket to stay alive in the tournament. For Moody, his 2-0 victory over Lehigh’s No. 29 Brian Meyer was the first NCAA Tournament win of his career. Samuelson earned a hard fought 3-2 victory over Cleveland State’s No. 25 DeAndre Nassar.

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