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Wyoming Hosts NCAA West Regional Championships



The University of Wyoming will host the 2001 NCAA West Regional Championships at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie on Saturday, March 3. Wrestling begins at 10 AM with the finals set for 7 PM. Wrestlers from the University of Wyoming, Air Force Academey, Fresno State, Eastern Illinois, Marquette, and Northern Iowa, will compete for 20 slots to wrestle in Iowa City at the NCAA National Championships on March 15-17. Northern Iowa, the defending West Regional Championship Team, has won 13 straight West Regional Championship titles and comes into the tournament with a 12-8 record and ranked nationally at #18 by the February 28th National Wrestling Coaches Association Poll. However, Fresno State comes in with a better record of 13-6 and ranked ahead of the Panthers at #15 by today's NWCA poll. Top ranked Fresno State junior Stephen Abas, #1 at 125 pounds, with a season record of 26-0 will be looking for a West Regional Championship to allow him to seek out his second NCAA Division I National Title. Abas was the National Champion at 125 in 1999, and is shown in the above NCAA photograph with his bracket after winning the title. Abas will be joined at the West Regionals by other nationally ranked wrestlers including #16 ranked Derrick Hayes of Fresno State at 133, #17 ranked Chad Boudreaux of Northern Iowa at 133, #18 ranked Scott Frohardt of Air Force at 149, #9 ranked Nathan Vasquez of Fresno State at 157, #16 ranked Eric Brown of Northern Iowa at 174, #15 ranked Kyle Hanson of Northern Iowa at 184, #18 ranked Craig Rumsey of Wyoming at 197, #3 ranked Billy Blunt of Fresno State at Heavyweight, #7 ranked Paul Hynek of Northern Iowa, and #15 ranked Kevin Hoy of Air Force. Each of the West Regional champions will gain an automatic bid to the NCAA National Finals in Iowa City, Iowa, with the West Regional coaches selecting the remaining ten wild cards.
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