Air Force Wrestlers Conclude Opening Day at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
Dec. 3, 2010
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Six Air Force wrestlers competed Friday at the 2010 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, with one Falcon advancing to the final day of competition. Sophomore Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.) will compete Saturday morning as he looks to finish among the top eight at one of the nation's most prestigious tournaments.
VonOhlen, currently ranked 17th in the nation at 141 pounds, entered the event as the seventh-seed in his weight class. He recorded falls in each of his first two matches, pinning Cal State Fullerton's Peter Hoang in a time of 6:49, while notching a fall against North Idaho's Braden Mowry in a time of 6:55. After capturing an 11-6 decision over10th-seed Christopher Villalonga of Cornell, VonOhlen moved into the quarterfinals with a bout versus second-seeded and third-ranked Kellen Russell of Michigan. However, VonOhlen came short of the upset, dropping a 4-3 decision.
VonOhlen now moves into the consolation bracket, where he will face conference foe Justin Morrill from Utah Valley. The winner of the match between VonOhlen and Morrill is guaranteed at least an eighth-place finish for the weekend.
In addition to the strong performance of VonOhlen, each of the Falcons' five other wrestlers all posted at least one victory on Friday. Freshman Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.), wrestling at 149 pounds, was impressive in his debut at the CKLV Invitational, posting a 2-2 record on the day. Kreimier earned a fall in his first match of the day, pinning San Francisco State's Matt Thomas in a time of 5:57, before dropping an 8-3 decision to third-seed Ivan Lopouchanski of UNC Greensboro. He then won his second bout of the day with a 4-3 decision over Oklahoma's Nick Lester, but fell to Michigan's Eric Grajales in the next round.
Meanwhile, the remaining Air Force wrestlers all notched 1-2 records on Friday. At 133 pounds, senior Derek Gillespie (Chesapeake, Va.) fell to fifth-seeded Devin Carter of Virginia Tech in his first match of the day, but posted a 14-2 major decision over North Idaho's Brock Banta in the consolation bracket. Gillespie finished competition with a 10-4 loss in his next bout.
Sophomore Clayton Gable (Dallastown, Pa.) competed at 165 pounds, posting a 6-4 victory over UNC Greensboro's Travis Sheehy in his first match of the day. However, Gable dropped an 8-1 decision to third-seeded Justin Kerber of Cornell before losing a 13-8 decision in the consolation bracket.
Team captain Joseph Stafford (Sr., Loomis, Calif.) faced a tough opponent in his opening match at 174 pounds, taking on top-ranked Mack Lewnes of Cornell. After dropping his first bout to Lewnes, Stafford rebounded with a win in the consolation bracket, scoring a 16-0 technical fall over Brown's Jared Kay. However, Stafford's weekend ended with an 8-3 loss.
Rounding out the group for Air Force was senior Neil Delaney (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Delaney won his opening bout at 197 pounds, scoring a 4-3 decision over Kyle Bergstedt of Cal State Fullerton. However, following a 10-2 loss to third-seeded Logan Brown of Purdue, Delaney dropped a 3-1 decision in the consolation bracket.