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MEEKER I Wyoming’s Joe LeBlanc, a former Meeker wrestler and Colorado state champion, has set his sights high for this season on the wrestling mat for the Wyoming Cowboys.
He got the start he was looking for Saturday in Fresno, Calif.
LeBlanc, a junior, defeated Purdue’s A.J. Kissel in the 184-pound match at the 45th National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic.
LeBlanc, wrestling for just the second time this year, took home a 10-5 win over the No. 5-ranked Kissel. It was a good start for the two-time All-American and two-time West Regional champion, who has national title hopes in 2011. But an injury has slowed his progress in terms of practice time and competition this year.
“The rust was there. As the match went on, you could kind of tell he had some time off for an injury,” UW assistant Chris Pendleton said. “What I told him was this is the No. 5 kid in the nation, but he wasn’t satisfied with his performance. That kind of mindset will help him. That was only his second match of the year. If that’s what it looks like, that’s pretty good.”