Air Force Ties for Fourth at All-Academy Championships
Feb. 7, 2009
LEXINGTON, Va. - Led by a pair of runner-up finishes from Stephen Crozier (Sr., Monona, Iowa) and Brett Boyce (So., Brigham City, Utah), the Air Force wrestling team tied for fourth place at the 15th-annual All-Academy Championships, hosted this year by VMI. Navy captured the team title for the eighth time in the event's history with 105 points, while Army placed second with 90 points. The Citadel took third place (69.5 pts.), followed Air Force and Merchant Marine in a tie for fourth place with 49 points. Rounding out the team standings were Norwich (16.5), VMI (16) and Coast Guard (10.5).
Crozier, the defending All-Academy champion at 165 pounds, opened the day with a 16-0 technical fall over Matt Valnoski of Norwich before scoring an 8-6 decision over Navy's Matt DeMichael in the next round. The championship bout was a rematch of last year's title match, as Crozier faced off against third-seed Vincent Renaut of the Merchant Marines. This time, Renaut was able to get the win, scoring a 14-10 decision to send Crozier to a second-place finish.
Boyce, an unseeded participant, took on Army's Jon Drew, seeded second at 184 pounds, in the opening round. Boyce made quick work of Drew, scoring a fall in just 49 seconds. Boyce registered another fall in his second match, pinning Merchant Marine's Daniel Argast in a time of 2:18. However, Boyce's run ended in the championship bout, as he dropped a 7-3 decision to top-seeded Casey Caldwell of Navy to finish second.
Three other Falcons were placewinners in their respective events as well. Sophomore Derek Gillespie (Chesapeake, Va.) put together a 3-1 record on the day to take third place at 133 pounds. Gillespie, who was unseeded in the event, took on top-seed Joe Baker of Navy in the opening round. After losing by technical fall to Baker, the 10th-ranked wrestler in the nation at 133 pounds, Gillespie moved into the consolation bracket, where he scored an 18-0 tech fall over Norwich's Josh Bolduc. Gillespie then pinned second-seed Tyler Hutchens of VMI in a time of 3:51 to move into the third-place bout. Gillespie notched his second fall of the day to claim third place, pinning Coast Guard's Bryan Conrad in a time of 5:27.
At 141 pounds, freshman Tyler Untrauer (Birmingham, Ala.) dropped his opening bout to The Citadel's Derek Royster, but responded with a pair of decisions in the consolation bracket. After defeating Coast Guard's Andrew Armstrong, 7-4, and Merchant Marine's James Beshada, 9-4, Untrauer moved into the third-place bout for a rematch with Royster. Again, Untrauer came up short, losing by technical fall to finish fourth.
Meanwhile, at 197 pounds, James Ciccone (Jr., Mentor, Ohio), opened against third-seed Eric Vincent of the Merchant Marines and was able to score a fall in a time of 5:45. After dropping a close 8-6 decision to second-seed Phil Neese of Navy, Ciccone registered a 13-5 major decision over Norwich's Ray Gauthier to move into the third-place bout. There he fell short of a second victory over Vincent, dropping a 2-1 decision to take fourth place.
The Falcons close out their home slate next week, Feb. 12, when they host Northern Colorado in a conference dual meet. The match is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. in Clune Arena.