Dec. 7, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Sophomore Josh Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) posted a third-place finish to lead the Air Force wrestling team to a 18th-place showing at the 32nd-annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Martinez, ranked eighth in the nation and seeded fifth in the 125-pound bracket, posted a 4-0 record on Saturday to finish third in his weight class for the second-straight season. He posted a major decision and a decision in his first two matches of the day to guarantee a top-eight finish.
Martinez then scored a 10-7 decision over seventh-ranked Dylan Peters of Northern Iowa to move into the third-place match against another nationally ranked opponent, American's David Terao. Martinez came away with the victory, earning a 4-1 decision to move to 12-1 on the season.
Also competing for Air Force on Saturday were Natrelle Demison (Fr., Bakersfield, Calif.), Jesse Stafford (Jr., Loomis, Calif.) and Devin Hightower (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.), who all advanced to the round of 12.
"Natrelle is establishing himself as a player who has a lot of room to develop into one of the Falcons' podium wrestlers," said Air Force head coach Joel Sharratt. "Following a dominating performance to take the title at the Falcons' last event, Jesse kept the momentum going with victories over two nationally ranked wrestlers. Meanwhile, Devin has started to return to the form that placed him in the nation's top 33 elite at 184 last season."
The Falcons are off from competition for the rest of the month, but will return to action Jan. 1-2, at the annual Southern Scuffle, hosted by Chattanooga.