Air Force Splits Pair of Home Duals
Feb. 13, 2011
USAFA, Colo. - Competing in two home dual meets on Sunday afternoon, the Air Force wrestling team dropped a 25-12 decision to Western Wrestling Conference foe Northern Iowa before rolling to a 43-3 win over New Mexico Highlands. After Sunday's dual, the Falcons move to 11-5 overall on the season and 2-3 in the WWC.
Air Force got out to a strong start against Northern Iowa, winning the first two bouts of the dual. Senior Derek Gillespie (Chesapeake, Va.) opened up the action at 133 pounds, earning an 8-5 decision over Ryan Jauch. Meanwhile, the Falcons increased the team margin to 8-0 following a 16-0 technical fall by 11th-ranked Cole VonOhlen (So., Jackson, Minn.) at 141 pounds.
The Panthers (11-9, 4-0) got on the board by winning a close 10-8 decision at 149 pounds, while 19th-ranked David Bonin brought UNI within a point in the team scoring with a major decision at 157 pounds. However, the Falcons were able to extend their advantage to 12-7 following an 18-4 major decision from sophomore Clayton Gable (Dallastown, Pa.) in the 165-pound match.
Northern Iowa regained the team lead with wins in the next two weight classes, including a tech fall from No. 7 Ryan Loder at 184 pounds. With close losses in the 197-pound and heavyweight matches, Air Force was unable to regain its lead, eventually losing the 25-12 decision.
The Falcons were able to rebound from their loss with a dominant win over New Mexico Highlands, which entered the match looking for its first dual victory of the year. Gillespie earned his second win of the day with a major decision at 133 pounds, while VonOhlen, Josh Kreimier (Fr., Fort Collins, Colo.) and Alec Williams (Jr., Fultondale, Ala.) followed with consecutive falls. Gable scored a decision at 165 pounds, while team captain Joseph Stafford (Sr., Loomis, Calif.) registered the Falcons' fourth fall of the match.
Air Force also received a major decision from Kazden Ikehara (Sr., Mililani, Hawaii) at 184 pounds, a tech fall from Josh Mohr (So., Pewaukee, Wis.) at 197 pounds and a decision from Jared Erickson (So., Newton, Utah) before suffering their first and only loss of the evening in the 125-pound bout.
The Falcons close out the regular season on Friday, Feb. 18, when they host Northern Colorado in a Western Wrestling Conference dual. Prior to the match, which is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. in Clune Arena, Air Force will honor the eight members of its senior class.
Northern Iowa 25, Air Force 12