Falcons Dominate in Sunday Afternoon Dual Action
Junior Devin Hightower

Jan. 27, 2013

USAFA, Colo. - Winning all but two bouts on the afternoon, the Air Force wrestling team rolled to a pair of dual victories on Sunday afternoon at Clune Arena, defeating conference foe South Dakota State, 41-5, and Western State Colorado, 35-4. With the wins, the Falcons, ranked 24th by InterMat, improve to 10-2 overall on the season and 1-1 in the Western Wrestling Conference.

In the first dual of the day, the Falcons won nine of 10 bouts against South Dakota State (4-8), beginning with a 12-4 major decision by 11th-ranked freshman Josh Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at 125 pounds. Dylan Hyder (So., Yelm, Wash.) added a decision at 133 pounds, while 141-pounder Carter McElhany (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored the first fall of the day for the Falcons.

The Jackrabbits scored their first and only win of the dual at 149 pounds with a technical fall by Dustin Walraven, but Air Force quickly extended its lead with a fall from junior Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.) at 157 pounds. Sophomore Jesse Stafford (Loomis, Calif.) added a decision at 165 pounds, while Dan Barringer (Monument, Colo.) scored a 13-4 major decision in the 165-pound bout.

At 184 pounds, Devin Hightower (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored a 15-0 tech fall for Air Force, while Josh Mohr (Sr., Pewaukee, Wis.) finished just one point shy of a technical fall with a dominant 14-0 major decision at 197 pounds. Closing out the dual against SDSU with another fall for the Falcons was sophomore heavyweight Bentley Alsup (So., Missoula, Mont.), who pinned J.J. Everard in a time of 3:45.



Air Force ended the afternoon with a non-conference dual versus Western State Colorado. Again, the Falcons started strong, with freshman Mitch Brown (Payson, Utah) earning a major decision at 125 pounds. Hyder (133) followed with his second decision of the day, while McElhany scored a major decision at 141 pounds.

Senior Logan Burch (Colorado Springs, Colo.) got on the board for the Falcons at 149 pounds with a 15-9 decision, while Kreimier was awarded a forfeit victory at 157 pounds. Stafford increased Air Force's team lead to 25-0 by scoring a 17-0 second-period technical fall before the Mountaineers scored their only win of the match with a major decision at 174 pounds.

The Falcons closed out the dual with three more victories, getting an 11-2 major decision from Hightower at 184 pounds and decisions by Mohr and Alsup at 197 and 285, respectively.

"I think the major change between our last competition and today is that the guys came out and wrestled with heart," said Air Force head coach Joel Sharratt. "We had a good workout yesterday, a good team talk and the guys responded well, so I'm proud of their fight and vigor today. Technically, we executed a little bit better than what we did on Friday, so things are moving in the right direction."

Sharratt continued: "I think with the offense that the guys were doing, especially in the South Dakota State match--moving their feet, fighting, shooting, scoring points--they're starting to get what we're trying to do and we're excited for that. Whether we were ahead by nine points or down by six points, they kept fighting and battling for the points. That's what we've been trying to get them to do."

Air Force returns to action next weekend, Feb. 2, when it heads to West Point, N.Y., for the 19th-annual All-Academy Championships, hosted this year by Army.

No. 24 Air Force 41, South Dakota State 5
125: No. 11 Josh Martinez (AF) maj. dec. Aaron Pickrel, 12-4
133: Dylan Hyder (AF) dec. Brance Simms, 10-3
141: Carter McElhany (AF) fall Ben Gillette, 4:17
149: Dustin Walraven (SDSU) tech fall Logan Burch, 19-4 (6:03)
157: Josh Kreimier (AF) fall Cody Pack, 6:10
165: Jesse Stafford (AF) dec. Joe Brewster, 9-5
174: Dan Barringer (AF) maj. dec. John Nething II, 13-4
184: Devin Hightower (AF) tech fall Shea Nolan, 15-0 (7:00)
197: Josh Mohr (AF) maj. dec. Joe Skow, 14-0
285: Bentley Alsup (AF) fall J.J. Everard, 3:45

No. 24 Air Force 35, Western State Colorado 4
125: Mitch Brown (AF) maj. dec. Dustin Stiegemeyer, 14-6
133: Dylan Hyder (AF) dec. CJ York, 6-2
141: Carter McElhany (AF) maj. dec. Cody Cole, 13-2
149: Logan Burch (AF) dec. Brandon Montoya, 15-9
157: Josh Kreimier (AF) win by forfeit
165: Jesse Stafford (AF) tech fall Austin Harris, 17-0 (4:38)
174: Elliot Copeland (WSCU) maj. dec. Dan Barringer, 19-9
184: Devin Hightower (AF) maj. dec. Kyle Piatt, 11-2
197: Josh Mohr (AF) dec. Sam Mangum, 7-4
285: Bentley Alsup (AF) dec. Kyle Graulus, 11-4

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