March 15, 2012
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Air Force wrestlers Cole VonOhlen (Jr., Jackson, Minn.) and Josh Kreimier (So., Fort Collins, Colo.) concluded the opening day of competition at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, being held at the Scottrade Center.
VonOhlen, seeded third at 149 pounds, won both of his matches on Thursday to move into the quarterfinals, while Kreimier, wrestling at 157, went 1-1 on the day and will compete in the consolation bracket.
In the opening round, VonOhlen took on Northwestern's Kaleb Friedley in his first match of the tournament. Friedley was first to get on the scoreboard, registering a takedown and a three-point near fall to put VonOhlen in a 5-0 first-period deficit. However, VonOhlen was able to score a reversal and ended the period with a three-point near fall of his own to tie the score at 5-5.
Choosing the bottom position to begin the second period, VonOhlen took the lead by scoring a reversal and controlled the rest of the stanza before registering a fall with 26 seconds remaining in the period.
VonOhlen took the mat Columbia's Steve Santos in the second round and again got off to a slow start, giving up a takedown in the first period. However, VonOhlen tied the score with a reversal and added a three-point near fall to take a 5-2 advantage into the second period. He added an escape in the second stanza, and while Santos was able to score a late takedown in the final period, VonOhlen held on for a 7-4 victory.
Meanwhile, at 157 pounds, Kreimier opened the day against Boise State's George Ivanov, ranked 16th in the latest Intermat poll. The match remained scoreless until late in the opening period, when Ivanov notched the initial takedown. However, a reversal by Kreimier tied the score at 2-2 going into the second period.
Kreimier began the second stanza in the down position and scored an early escape to take a 3-2 lead. Neither wrestler scored again until the final 10 seconds of the third period, when Kreimier registered a takedown to secure the 5-2 decision.
In his second match, Kreimier face a formidable opponent, taking on top-seeded Kyle Dake of Cornell, a two-time national champion. Dake got on the board first with an early takedown before scoring a fall in a time of 1:31.
VonOhlen and Kreimier continue action at the 2012 NCAA Championships tomorrow, with the first session slated to begin at 10:00 a.m. (CT). VonOhlen will meet sixth-seed Tyler Nauman of Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals, while Kreimier will wrestle Lehigh's Brian Tanen in the consolation bracket.