Feb. 21, 2013
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - In a closely battled dual that came down to the last match, the Air Force wrestling team came up short in a 17-16 loss to 22nd-ranked conference foe Wyoming Thursday evening at Storey Gym. The Falcons fall to 10-4 overall and 1-3 in the Western Wrestling Conference, while the Cowboys close out the regular season with a 9-6 dual record and 4-1 mark in the WWC.
The dual started at 125 pounds, where the Falcons' 10th-ranked Josh Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) faced the Cowboys' 19th-ranked Tyler Cox. Cox scored four takedowns and a pair of near falls to earn a 13-4 major decision, giving Wyoming a 4-0 lead in the team scoring.
After dropping a pair of decisions at 133 and 141 pounds, Air Force got on the board with a win by senior captain Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.), ranked third in the nation at 149 pounds. After giving up the first takedown of the match, VonOhlen scored the next eight points and added a point for riding time in the 9-3 decision.
At 157 pounds, junior Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.) faced 13th-ranked Andy McCulley. While McCulley scored the first takedown of the match, Kreimier responded with a quick reversal and added a takedown and a two-point near fall to take a 6-3 lead into the second period. His advantage grew to 10-5 with a pair of reversals in the second period before scoring another near fall early in the third period. Accumulating over five minutes of riding time, Kreimier earned the 13-5 major decision.
The Falcons won their third-straight match of the evening as sophomore Jesse Stafford (Loomis, Calif.) registered a 5-1 decision at 165 pounds to tie the team score at 10-10. However, the Cowboys regained their lead with a 7-4 decision at 174 pounds.
Junior Devin Hightower (Colorado Springs, Colo.) came up with a crucial win at 184 pounds, capturing a 3-1 decision over Shane Woods in overtime. With the score tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation, Hightower recorded the only takedown of the match 17 seconds into the extra period, tying the team score at 13-13.
Wyoming regained its lead with a major decision from fourth-ranked Alfonso Hernandez at 197 pounds, giving the Cowboys a four-point edge heading into the final match of the evening. The Falcons' heavyweight, Bentley Alsup (So., Missoula, Mont.) came up with the win, scoring five takedowns in his bout, but his 12-6 decision was not enough to give Air Force the team victory.
The Falcons close out their dual slate this weekend, Feb. 24, when they host Northern Colorado in a 2:00 p.m. contest. Prior to the start of the match, Air Force will honor the 12 members of its senior class.
No. 22 Wyoming 17, Air Force 16
125: No. 19 Tyler Cox (WYO) maj. dec. No. 10 Josh Martinez, 13-4
133: Kasey Garnhart (WYO) dec. Dylan Hyder, 6-2
141: McCade Ford (WYO) dec. Carter McElhany, 3-1
149: No. 3 Cole VonOhlen (AF) dec. Brandon Richardson, 9-3
157: Josh Kreimier (AF) maj. dec. No. 13 Andy McCulley, 13-5
165: Jesse Stafford (AF) dec. Dakota Friesth, 5-1
174: LJ Helbig (WYO) dec. Dan Barringer, 7-4
184: Devin Hightower (AF) dec. Shane Woods, 3-1 (SV)
197: No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez (UVU) maj. dec. Josh Mohr, 14-4
285: Bentley Alsup (AF) dec. Leland Pfeifer, 12-6