Air Force Wrestlers Start Season Strong at Cowboy Open
Nov. 14, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. - With a total of seven placewinners, including a pair of tournament champions, the Air Force wrestling team began the 2009-10 season Saturday at the annual Cowboy Open, hosted by Western Wrestling Conference rival Wyoming.
Capturing individual titles were freshmen Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.), wrestling in the 141-pound weight class of the Elite Division, and Robert Isley (Toledo, Ohio), competing at 184 pounds in the Amateur Division.
VonOhlen recorded falls in each of his first two bouts, pinning Dylan Lewis of Colorado School of Mines in a time of 2:04, while notching a fall against Wyoming's Chase Smith in a time of 4:16. He faced a tougher challenge in his next match, taking an 8-6 decision in overtime against 2009 WWC runner-up Kenny Hashimoto of Northern Colorado. VonOhlen faced another close contest in the championship bout, winning a 6-5 decision over Chadron State's Jimmy Savala to take the title and begin his collegiate career with a 4-0 record.
Isley also began his Air Force career on a strong note, going 4-0 on the day. He posted a 12-0 major decision over Mark Martinez of New Mexico Highlands in his first bout before pinning Adam Carey in a time of 5:59. With an 11-3 major decision over Colorado School of Mines' Brandon Sheldon in his next match, Isley earned a trip to the championship bout, where he posted a 5-3 decision against Mitch Steed to capture the title.
In the Elite Division, Andrew Zwirlein (Jr., Nashotah, Wis.) and Tyler French (Sr., Malta, Mont.) placed third at 125 and 174 pounds, respectively. Meanwhile in the Amateur Division, freshman Tyler Spangler (Midlothian, Va.) added a second-place showing at 133 pounds, Josh Mohr (Fr., Pewaukee, Wis.) finished third at 184 pounds, and Dake Williams (Fr., Gaithersburg, Md.) took fourth-place in the heavyweight bracket.
Zwirlein opened the day with a 9-5 decision over Chase Dirden of Montana State-Northern, but lost to Utah Valley's Ben Kjar by technical fall in the next round. In the wrestlebacks, Zwirlein faced teammate Samuel Sheppard (Sr., Ramstein AB, Germany) and came away with a 7-3 decision to earn a spot in the third-place match. He won the bout against Western State's Kyle O'Brien, recording a fall in a time of 5:25 to capture third-place.
In his first bout of the day, French captured a 10-1 major decision over Mesa State's Kyle Brightman, before dropping an 8-4 decision to Brad Darrington of Utah Valley. He rebounded with a 6-3 decision over Alex Rieder of Wyoming in the wrestlebacks, while capturing a 9-3 decision over Wyoming's Brock Smith to win third-place.
Spangler rolled to three straight victories to earn his way into the championship bout. Following an 8-1 decision over Chris Davey, Spangler posted a 4-0 decision against Stephen Weimer of Nebraska-Kearney and a 13-3 major decision over Western Wyoming's Jacob Bassett. However, his run ended with a 5-2 loss to Chadron State's Ryan Fillingame in the title match.
Mohr dropped his first bout, 4-2, to eventual runner-up Mitch Steed, but rattled off five straight victories in the wrestlebacks to take third place in his weight class. He began with a 8-5 decision over Sam Kenagy, before pinning Adam Carey in a time of 6:15. He then recorded a 14-5 major decision over Aaron Phillips of Northwest Wyoming CC, while posting a forfeit victory against Kipp Holman. In the third-place match, Mohr registered his second fall of the day, pinning Brandon Sheldon in a time of 1:13.
Finally, Williams dropped an 8-5 decision to Fabian Guerrero in his first match of the day, but recovered by registering falls in his next four bouts. He pinned Weber State's William Moulding in a time of 2:03, followed by falls over Taylor Stam of Adams State (3:58), Dylan Stadel of Utah Valley (6:15) and Rusty Farnsworth of Western Wyoming (4:02). Williams' next bout was much closer, as he won a 12-10 overtime decision against Montana State-Northern's Jim Eavenson to move into the third-place match, but he was unable to continue his winning streak, dropping a 5-0 decision to Alcala.
The Falcons return to action next weekend, Nov. 21, at the Kaufman/Brand Open, hosted by Nebraska-Omaha.