Feb. 2, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Led by an individual title from freshman Josh Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo.), the Air Force wrestling team captured second place at the 19th-annual All-Academy Championships, hosted by Army. The Falcons finished with 92.5 points to place behind Navy (128.5 pts.), which captured its fifth-straight team title.
The Citadel (72.0 pts.) edged out host Army (71.0 pts.) for third place, while Merchant Marine Academy (17.5), VMI (15.5), Coast Guard (12.5 pts.) and Norwich (0 pts.) rounded out the team standings.
Martinez, ranked ninth in the nation at 125 pounds, earned his first All-Academy title, posting a 3-0 record on Saturday. Martinez earned major decisions in each of his first two matches, defeating Costas Rerras (Merchant Marine), 13-2, and Jerico Urmentio (Navy), 12-3. He then claimed the title with a 6-0 victory over Coast Guard's Nate Giorgio.
All 10 Falcons in action were placewinners, including four second-place finishers. Senior captain Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.), ranked third in the nation at 149 pounds, finished as the runner-up on Saturday. VonOhlen, competing for the first time since Jan. 2, pinned Army's John Belanger in a time of 1:38 in his first match to advance to the championship bout, but gave up a medical forfeit to place second.
Josh Kreimier (Jr., Fort Collins, Colo.) also finished as a runner-up, taking second at 157 pounds. He earned a 19-2 technical fall and a 16-5 major decision in his first two rounds, before dropping a 7-5 decision to Navy's Bobby Barnhisel in the title match.
At 174 pounds, junior Dan Barringer (Jr., Monument, Colo.) placed second at 174 pounds after entering the tournament as the third seed. Barringer notched a fall in his first bout before knocking off second-seeded Coleman Gracy of Army in the semifinals. He then fell to 12th-ranked Matt Miller of Navy in the title bout.
Also posting a runner-up finish on Saturday for Air Force was junior Devin Hightower (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who took second at 184 pounds. Hightower recorded a 16-0 technical fall in his first match, while earning a 6-4 decision over The Citadel's Josh Tuck in the semifinals. He ended his day with a loss to Navy's Mason Bailey in the championship match.
Four other Air Force wrestlers placed third in their respective weight classes, beginning with sophomore Dylan Hyder (Yelm, Wash.) at 133 pounds. Seeded fourth in the tournament, Hyder dropped a narrow 1-0 decision to top-seeded Jordan Thome of Army in the semifinals. However, he scored a first-period fall in the consolation bracket before defeating third-seed Aaron Hansen (The Citadel), 6-5, in the third-place contest.
Sophomore Jesse Stafford (Loomis, Calif.) captured third place at 165 pounds, finishing the day with a 3-1 record. After falling in his first match, Stafford rebounded in the consolation bracket, earning a fall and a decision before winning the third-place match with a 17-0 tech fall over Nic Watson of the Merchant Marine Academy.
At 197 pounds, Josh Mohr (Sr., Pewaukee, Wis.) won his first match with a 14-4 major decision, but dropped a narrow 6-5 decision in the semifinals. He rebounded in the consolation bracket with two more major decisions, defeating The Citadel's Marshal Haas, 18-5, and VMI's Urayoan Garcia, 9-1, to claim third place.
Sophomore heavyweight Bentley Alsup (Missoula, Mont.) also placed third for the Falcons with a 3-1 record on the day. Alsup posted a 6-2 decision in his first match before dropping a decision to second-seed Dan Miller of Navy in the semifinals. He went on to notch a fall in his first bout of the consolation bracket, while scoring a 6-4 decision over Army's Collin Wittmeyer in the third-place match.
Also finishing as a placewinner for the Falcons on Saturday was sophomore Carter McElhany (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.), who placed fourth at 141 pounds.
The Falcons are off from competition next weekend, but return to action on Saturday, Feb. 16, for a WWC dual at Utah Valley.