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Noah Cook | NCAA.com | December 20, 2017

Wyoming's Bryce Meredith named NCAA Wrestler of the Week

  Wyoming's Bryce Meredith was named NCAA Wrestler of the Week.

With a 71-percent majority from the NCAA Wrestling Twitter poll, Bryce Meredith of Wyoming has been named NCAA Wrestler of the Week. The 141-pound senior rightly claimed this award, along with the 141-pound title after dominating tough competition at the Reno Tournament of Champions, which included two wins over top-five opponents.

Meredith concluded his performance with a memorable double overtime victory over No. 1 Dean Heil Tuesday night.

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Meredith, who entered the tournament as a No. 2 seed, eased his way into the semifinals on Sunday with three first-period falls in his opening three matches. Following his impressive start, No. 4 Meredith controlled the semifinals with a 3-2 victory in a top-five matchup over No. 5 Jaydin Eierman of Missouri. To close the tournament, Meredith matched up against his long-time friend No. 2 Kevin Jack of North Carolina State.

In a previous meeting this year at the NWCA All-Star Classic, Jack managed to pull off an 8-7 victory. In Reno, however, Meredith turned the tables, defeating Jack 4-3. Meredith claimed the championship and secured his presence as a top-five wrestler.

Riding high expectations from an impressive performance on Sunday, all eyes were on Meredith for his Tuesday night hometown matchup against No. 1 Dean Heil of Oklahoma State. The first period ended 1-0 in favor of Heil, as Meredith gave up an escape. But Meredith answered in the third period with an escape of his own. The much-anticipated match became even more exciting for the crowd at Storey Gym when the duel went into double overtime.

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Yet, even with the pressure and atmosphere, Meredith remained collected. Meredith picked up one final escape in the final 20 seconds, holding off Heil with a 2-1 victory in front his hometown crowd. On top of upsetting the two-time defending NCAA champion, Meredith gave Heil his first loss in 55 matches. The win was Meredith’s third-straight over a top-five opponent and eighth over ranked opponents this season. The senior now holds an overall record of 13-1.

Meredith, a graduate of Central High School in Cheyenne, was a four-time state champion. He compiled a record of 123-8 in high school and was a four-time NHSCA All-American.

In his sophomore and junior seasons at Wyoming, Meredith made his presence known with back-to-back trips to the NCAA championships. As an NCAA finalist and two-time All-American, Meredith led UW to a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships last year and finished as a runner-up, losing only to Heil. Meredith ended the season as one of 135 student-athletes in Division I wrestling to be named to the NWCA All-Academic team.

After an unforgettable night, Wyoming hopes to continue its exceptional performance at North Carolina following the new year. The Pokes compete on Jan. 5 in Chapel Hill, N.C. against North Carolina, Duke, Army and American.

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