Feb. 6, 2011
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Led by senior Derek Gillespie (Chesapeake, Va.), the Air Force wrestling team placed fourth at the 17th-annual All-Academy Championships, hosted by The Citadel. The Falcons, who claimed eight placewinners, finished with 64 points.
Navy earned its seventh team title in the last eight years, finishing with 117.5 points. The host Bulldogs placed second with 86.5 points, while Army took third place in the team standings with 82.5 points. Rounding out the last four spots in the team competition were the Merchant Marine Academy (36.5), VMI (22.5), Coast Guard Academy (3.5) and Norwich (1.5).
Gillespie was the lone Falcon to compete in a championship match, finished second at 133 pounds. Gillespie had a strong start to the day, earning a 16-0 technical fall over VMI's Luke Todd in the second period. In his semifinal match, Gillespie earned a 9-7 decision over Army's Connor Hanafee to move into the championship bout against Navy's Aaron Stein. In another close match, Gillespie came up short against Stein, dropping a 6-5 decision.
Three other Falcons earned third place in their respective weight classes, beginning with sophomore Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.). The reigning All-Academy champion at 141 pounds, VonOhlen suffered an upset in the opening round, dropping a narrow 6-5 decision to Navy's Dustin Haislip. In the consolation bracket, VonOhlen put together three straight wins, including a fall and a major decision, to claim third place.
At 149 pounds, freshman Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.) captured third place in his All-Academy debut. In his first match of the day, Kreimier pinned Norwich's Evan Poole in a time of 3:44, but dropped a close 9-8 decision to The Citadel's Derek Royster in the next round. Kreimier rebounded in the consolation bracket, recording his second fall of the day to move into the third-place match, where he registered a 11-3 major decision over Martin Bell of the Merchant Marine Academy.
Also placing third on Sunday was senior Neil Delaney (Grand Rapids, Mich.) at 197 pounds. Delaney opened the day with a technical fall over Max Walker from the Coast Guard Academy, rolling to a 17-1 victory. However, he fell into the consolation bracket with a close 4-3 loss to Navy's Peter Huntley. Delaney closed out the afternoon with two more wins by decision, including a 3-2 victory over Army's Daniel Mills in the third-place bout.
Meanwhile, Tyler Spangler (So., Midlothian, Va.), Clayton Gable (So., Dallastown, Pa.), Kazden Ikehara (Sr., Mililani, Hawaii) and Jared Erickson (So., Newton, Utah) placed fourth at 125, 165, 184 and heavyweight, respectively.
The Falcons are back in action on Friday, Feb. 11, when they travel to Orem, Utah, to take on Western Wrestling Conference opponent Utah Valley.