Dec. 4, 2010
HAYS, Kan. - Led by freshman Greg Rinker (Northampton, Pa.), the Air Force wrestling team wrapped up competition with six placewinners at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open on Saturday. Rinker earned the first tournament title of his career finishing first at 125 pounds.
Rinker, who entered the tournament as the sixth-seed, posted a 5-0 record on Saturday to claim the 125-pound title. After recording falls in his first two matches, Rinker won back-to-back decisions to move into the final match versus Oklahoma State's Tyler Dorrell. Rinker dominated in the championship bout, posting a 10-1 major decision to win his weight class.
Also placing at 125 pounds was senior Andrew Zwirlein (Nashotah, Wis.), who took third place in the weight class. After dropping a close 8-7 decision to fourth-seeded Ty Fittje in his first match, 10th-seeded Zwirlein rattled off seven straight victories in the consolation bracket. Zwirlein followed his first fall of the year with six decisions, ending with a 5-1 win over second-seeded Kyle O'Brien of Western State.
Finishing as a runner-up for the Falcons was junior Tyler Untrauer (Midwest City, Okla.), who took second place at 133 pounds. The sixth-seeded wrestler won close decisions in his first three matches before falling to top-seed Aldon Isenberg of Fort Hays State in the championship bout.
At 157 pounds, junior Alec Williams (Fultondale, Ala.) was the top finisher for Air Force, placing third. Williams, unseeded in the tournament, recorded a technical fall and a fall in his first two matches, before coming up short in a 3-2 loss to third-seed Justin Morris of Western State. Williams rebounded with six straight victories in the consolation bracket, beginning with a 5-3 victory over teammate Jesse Stafford. With three more falls on the day, including one in the third-place match, Williams posted an 8-1 record on Saturday.
Also finishing third in the tournament was senior Kazden Ikehara (Mililani, Hawaii), who competed at 184 pounds. Ikehara won his first two bouts by decision, but lost a close 2-1 match to Nebraska's Spencer Lincoln to fall into the consolation bracket. In the consolation semifinals, Ikehara went up against teammate Josh Mohr, who had already knocked another Falcon, Karl Oeser, out of contention. Ikehara came up with a 4-2 win over Mohr before defeating third-seed Elliott Hellwege of Oklahoma State, 4-1, in the third-place bout.
Finally, freshman Devin Hightower (Colorado Springs, Colo.) notched six victories en route to his fourth-place finish at 174 pounds. He recorded a tiebreaker victory in his first bout before falling to eventual champion Ryan Pankoke in the next round. Hightower moved through the consolation bracket with a tech fall, a forfeit and a pair of decisions, including another tiebreaker win. However, the unseeded wrestler fell short in the third-place match, dropping a 6-3 decision to Oklahoma State's Zach White.
The Falcons return to action on Dec. 10, when they open the 2010-11 dual slate with a pair of home matches in Clune Arena. Air Force hosts Coe at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, followed by a dual versus Western State at 4:00 p.m.