Air Force Concludes Competition at Season-Opening Cowboy Open
Nov. 15, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Led by placewinners Karl Oeser (Fr., Wichita, Kan.) and Stephen Crozier (Sr., Monona, Iowa), the Air Force wrestling team opened the 2008-09 season Saturday at the Cowboy Open, hosted by Wyoming. Oeser, competing in the Amateur Division, finished second at 184 pounds, while Crozier placed fourth in the Elite Division at 165 pounds.
Oeser compiled a 3-1 record to open up his collegiate career. The day started with a pair of one-point decisions, as Oeser defeated Wyoming's Michael Paulos, 3-2, and Nebraska-Kearney's Nick Bauman, 2-1. Oeser then picked up his first fall, pinning Mike Ross in a time of 4:32 to move into the championship bout. Unfortunately, Oeser's run ended there, as he dropped a 13-2 major decision to L.J. Helbig of Wyoming.
Crozier, one of the Falcons' returning NCAA qualifers, also started the day out strong, defeating Chadron State's Willy Jones, 11-5, before recording a 20-4 technical fall over Justin Gardner of the University of Great Falls. Crozier then dropped a 4-1 decision to eventual champion Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford. In the third-place match-up, Crozier came up short in an 8-5 loss to Wyoming's Eric Coxbill.
Sophomore Derek Gillespie (Chesapeake, Va.), wrestling in the Elite Division at 133 pounds, also won three bouts on the day, defeating Chris Saykally of Colorado School of Mines in a 15-5 major decision and unattached Casey Cruz (10-6) and Vitaly Ivaschenko (15-9), while dropping a pair of bouts to Chadron State's Jimmy Savala.
Meanwhile, eight other wrestlers picked up two wins each for Air Force, including Samuel Sheppard (Jr., Ramstein AB, Germany), Stephen Makuka (Jr., Columbus, N.J.), Joseph Stafford (So., Loomis, Calif.) and Tyler French (Jr., Malta, Mont.) in the Elite Division and Wade Stowe (So., The Colony, Texas), Michael Erickson (Jr., Springfield, Va.), Alex Flori (So., Eagle River, Alaska) and Kazden Ikehara (So., Mililani, Hawaii) in the Amateur Division.
The Falcons return to action next weekend, Nov. 22, when they head to the Kaufman-Brand Open, hosted by Nebraska-Omaha.