Falcons Fall to WWC Rival Wyoming
Feb. 18, 2010
USAFA, Colo. -
Despite getting out to a strong start in its home season finale, the Air Force wrestling team dropped a 22-13 decision to Western Wrestling Conference rival Wyoming Thursday evening in Clune Arena. The Falcons fall to 6-10 overall and 1-4 in the WWC, while the Cowboys conclude their dual slate with a 12-3 overall record and perfect 6-0 conference ledger.
The dual started at 133 pounds, where Wyoming was able to come up with a 2-0 decision to take the early lead in the match. Air Force took the team lead in the next bout, as freshman 141-pounder Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.) rolled to a 9-1 major decision over Chase Smith. VonOhlen allowed just one escape and scored a pair of takedowns and a reversal, while amassing nearly five minutes of riding time. With the win, VonOhlen improves to 28-6 on the year and 12-2 in dual action.
At 149 pounds, Gabe Martinez (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) trailed Cole Dallaserra, 3-1, in the third period before recording a takedown and three-point near fall. Although Dallaserra had nearly four minutes of riding time and scored an escape before the end of the match, the high-scoring move by Martinez was enough to grant him the 6-5 decision.
The Falcons reached their largest lead of the match after the 157-pound bout, as Alec Williams (So., Fultondale, Ala.) picked up a 16-11 decision over Jimmy Belleville. Williams put together a strong opening period, rolling to an 8-2 advantage with a pair of takedowns and a three-point near fall. The final two periods were a back-and-forth battle, ending with a takedown by Belleville just as time expired, but Williams was still able to come out on top.
Air Force’s advantage was short-lived as Wyoming won five of the last six bouts. The Cowboys’ ninth-ranked Shane Onufer picked up a major decision at 165 pounds, while No. 9 Joe LeBlanc won by fall in the 184-pound bout. Sandwiched in between was a hard-fought match between the Falcons’ Tyler French (Sr., Malta, Mont.) and the Cowboys’ Brock Smith. Smith held a 2-1 lead and had the advantage as the bout neared an end, but French scored an escape with just one second remaining to force overtime. However, Smith scored a takedown, the first of the match, 11 seconds into the extra period to earn the 4-2 sudden victory decision.
After another win by Wyoming at 197 pounds, Air Force senior heavyweight Stephen Larson (Lakeville, Minn.) took the mat versus L.J. Helbig. Following a scoreless opening period, Larson notched a pair of takedowns and an escape over the final two periods to take the 5-3 victory, earning a win in the final home meet of his career.
Wyoming scored the final decision of the meet, a 6-2 win by 12th-ranked Michael Martinez at 125 pounds, to take a 22-13 dual victory, capturing its first outright regular-season conference title.
The Falcons will close out their dual slate on Sunday, Feb. 21, when they visit conference rival Northern Iowa. The match is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. (CT).
Wyoming 22, Air Force 13
133 Cory VomBaur (UW) dec. Derek Gillespie, 2-0
141 Cole VonOhlen (AF) maj. dec. Chase Smith, 9-1
149 Gabe Martinez (AF) dec. Cole Dallaserra, 6-5
157 Alec Williams (AF) dec. Jimmy Belleville, 16-11
165 No. 9 Shane Onufer (UW) maj. dec. Clayton Gable, 12-4
174 Brock Smith (UW) dec. Tyler French, 4-2 (SV)
184 No. 9 Joe LeBlanc (UW) fall Josh Mohr, 4:18
197 Alfonso Hernandez (UW) dec. Neil Delaney, 3-1
HWT Stephen Larson (AF) dec. L.J. Helbig, 5-3
125 No. 12 Michael Martinez (UW) dec. Andrew Zwirlein, 6-2