Chattanooga, Tenn. – Air Force concluded the Southern Scuffle with a pair of place-winning finishes, Tuesday evening in McKenzie Arena. Freshman 125-pounder Tony DeCesare led the Falcons with a fifth-place finish, while teammate Isaac Jimenez placed eighth.
DeCesare opened action against Luke Resnick (Lehigh) in the consolation of eight where he struck first and controlled the pace of the match to finish the Lehigh wrestler with a 4-2 decision.
In his consolation of four match, DeCesare met with returning national qualifier Ibrahim Bunduka (George Mason). An early takedown and near fall propelled DeCesare a healthy lead over Bunduka in the first round. With two escapes and riding time DeCesare sealed the deal, 7-2, and headed to the consolation semi-finals to take on Louie Hayes (Virginia). Hayes proved to have DeCesare’s ticket, winning by technical fall and sending the Falcon to the fifth-place bout against Sergio Mendez (CSU Bakersfield).
In the battle for fifth in the 125 lb. class, DeCesare was taken down early but battled back to a takedown of his own that led to near fall points. With a pair of escapes and an additional takedown late, DeCesare secured his fifth-place finish with a 9-4 decision.
In his first match of the day Jimenez squared off with Durbin Lloren (Utah Valley), where he posted an 11-9 decision to earn a guaranteed podium finish. Banged up, Jimenez defaulted his consolation of four match against Northern Colorado’s Rico Montoya. The eighth place finish marked Jimenez’s first time on the podium at the Southern Scuffle.
Air Force returns to the dual slate at the Tracy Borah Duals, Jan. 6. The Falcons will compete against a number of teams in a round-robin day of duals hosted by Western State University.