Falcons Close Out Opening Day at Southern Scuffle
Jan. 1, 2014
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - With nine competitors moving on to the second day of action, the Air Force wrestling team sits in 10th place in the team standings on day one of the Southern Scuffle, hosted by Chattanooga.
Leading the way for the Falcons is sophomore Josh Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who went 3-0 on Wednesday to move into Thursday's quarterfinals. Martinez, currently ranked sixth in the nation at 125 pounds, scored a fall and a technical fall in his first two matches of the day before scoring a 5-1 decision over Cornell's Bricker Dixon. Next up for Martinez is a quarterfinal match versus Paul Petrov of Bucknell.
Meanwhile, eight other Falcons remain in action in the consolation bracket. At 133 pounds, Carter McElhany (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Greg Rinker (Sr., Northampton, Pa.) and will compete Thursday in the wrestlebacks after posting 1-1 records on Wednesday. After earning a decision in his first match, McElhany dropped a major decision to top-ranked Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State and will face Missouri's Matt Manley on Thursday. Meanwhile, Rinker also opened the tournament with a decision before dropping a major decision to fifth-ranked Ryan Mango of Stanford. In his next match, Rinker will take on Cornell's Logan David.
In his return from a nearly two-month hiatus due to injury, senior Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.) also posted a 1-1 record on Thursday. Kreimier, ranked 17th in the nation by InterMat at 157 pounds, posted a decision in his first match, but fell to third-ranked Dylan Ness of Minnesota in the next round. Kreimier will be in action on Thursday with a bout against Minnesota's Brandon Kingsley.
At 165 pounds, junior Jesse Stafford (Loomis, Calif.) posted a 2-1 record, winning a pair of decisions before falling to Penn State's top-ranked David Taylor. In the consolation bracket, Stafford is slated to face off against Iowa State's Carson Powell.
Sophomore Scott Reilly (Stafford, Va.) also posted a 2-1 record at 174 pounds on Wednesday, earning a pair of decisions in his first two matches. In his round of 16 bout, Reilly dropped a major decision to eighth-ranked Tyler Wilps of Pittsburgh, and will face off against teammate Konner Witt (So., Oak Harbor, Ohio) in the consolation bracket.
Witt, also wrestling at 174 pounds, went 3-1 on Wednesday to advance in the consolation bracket. After earning a sudden victory decision over Army's Brian Harvey in his first match, Witt dropped his second bout of the day. However, Witt won two matches in the consolation bracket, including a fall over Campbell's Cody Ryba, to move on to Thursday's action.
At 184 pounds, senior Devin Hightower (Colorado Springs, Colo.) compiled a 3-1 record, winning his first match by decision before dropping a 5-2 decision in his next bout. In the consolation bracket, Hightower earned two more wins, including a 9-0 major decision. He moves on to face Oregon State's Austin Morehead on Thursday.
Meanwhile, senior Greg Isley (Toledo, Ohio) advanced to the round of 16 at 197 pounds, posting a 1-1 mark on Wednesday. Isley earned a decision in his first match before falling to second-ranked Kyven Gadson of Iowa State. He will move on to face Bucknell's Tyler Lyster on Thursday.
Action continues Thursday starting at 9:00 a.m. (ET), while the championship finals are slated to start at 7:00 p.m.