Falcons Conclude Competition at NCAA Wrestling Championships
Air Force wrestlers Cole VonOhlen (Jr., Jackson, Minn.) and Josh Kreimier (So., Fort Collins, Colo.) completed action at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, being held at the Scottrade Center. Both wrestlers ended the season in the round of 12 in their respective weight classes.
VonOhlen, seeded third in the tournament at 149 pounds, had a tough day, losing both of his matches on Friday. In the quarterfinals against sixth-seed Tyler Nauman of Pittsburgh, VonOhlen found himself in a 5-0 hole after giving up a takedown and a three-point near fall. While he was able to score a reversal to get on the board, Nauman earned an escape and another takedown to close out the period with an 8-2 lead.
The only point of the second period came on an escape from Nauman, while VonOhlen scored a third-period reversal to get back on the board. However, despite earning an extra point for riding time, he was unable to score any back points and closed out the match with a 9-4 loss.
In his evening match, VonOhlen once again had to battle from behind, as Cam Tessari, the 10th-seed from Ohio State, scored the only points of the opening period with a takedown. Tessari's lead grew to 4-0 with a second-period reversal, but VonOhlen answered with an escape. He scored another two points late in the period, registering a takedown with five seconds remaining, to go into the final stanza.
VonOhlen, who began the third period in the bottom position, scored an escape to tie the score at 4-4, but not before Tessari had accumulated 1:07 in riding time. Unable to get points for a takedown in the final minute of regulation, VonOhlen dropped the 5-4 decision after Tessari was granted the extra riding time point.
Meanwhile, Kreimier started out his day in the consolation bracket at 157 pounds, facing Lehigh's Brian Tanen. Kreimier scored the first takedown of the match, while an escape by Tanen brought the score to 2-1 after one period. Kreimier added an escape to start the second period, while closing out the stanza with a takedown, increasing his advantage to 5-1. In the final period, Kreimier registered two takedowns, including one with just four seconds left, and adding a point for riding time to earn the 10-3 decision.
With his win over Tanen, Kreimier moved on to face ninth-seed Justin Lister of Binghamton. Again, Kreimier was first to score, getting a first-period takedown and holding on for a 2-1 advantage after one period. Choosing down to start the second period, Kreimier was awarded a penalty point and then scored an escape to increase his lead to 4-1, but Lister notched a takedown to get back within one. However, Kreimier scored a defensive near fall to take a 6-3 cushion into the final period.
Lister opened the third stanza with a point for an escape, but a flurry of action resulted in a takedown for Kreimier, who registered a fall 33 seconds into the period, to move into the evening session against seventh-seed Dylan Alton of Penn State.
Alton was quick to get on the board, scoring a takedown early in the first period, but Kreimier was able to get an escape to go into the second period trailing 2-1. Kreimier tied the score at 2-2 with another escape to start the second stanza, but Alton regained the lead with another takedown. Kreimier registered another escape to end the period trailing by one, but Alton scored the only point of the third period and added a point for riding time to take the 6-3 victory.
With their performances this week, VonOhlen and Kreimier became the first Falcons to reach the round of 12 since 2003, when Kevin Hoy finished as a national runner-up. VonOhlen wrapped up his junior campaign with a 37-4 overall record, while Kreimier ended the year with a 26-16 ledger.