Falcons Suffer 25-12 Loss To South Dakota State
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - With just two individual wins, the Air Force wrestling team was unable to defeat South Dakota State, suffering a 25-12 dual meet loss Saturday evening. With the loss, the Falcons fall to 2-4 on the season, while the Jackrabbits improve to 6-7 on the year.

The meet began at 157 pounds, where junior Zach Lord (Missoula, Mont.) faced off against Andy Everson. Everson went ahead 2-1 in the first round with an early takedown, and extended his advantage to 6-1 with another takedown and two-point near fall in the second round. After another escape by Lord, Everson scored another takedown to go up 8-2 at the beginning of the final round. His lead grew to eight points with a reversal, but Lord came back with an escape, a takedown and three back points by the conclusion of the bout. However, it was not enough, and with an extra point for riding time, Everson captured the 11-8 decision to give South Dakota State a 3-0 lead.

In the 165 pound bout, Air Force sophomore Greg Ford (Kansas City, Mo.) went scoreless with Justin Retallic in the first round, but took a 1-0 lead with an escape in the second round. Retallic tied the score in the third round with an escape of his own and took the lead after a violation by Ford. Although Ford scored a takedown with just 16 seconds to tie the score once more, the match was still tied at the end of regulation, bringing about a sudden victory session. Retallic scored the winning takedown to take the 5-3 decision, putting the Jackrabbits ahead 6-0.

The Falcons got on board at the conclusion of the 174-pound bout, where Stephen Crozier (Fr., Monona, Iowa) faced
Travis Gottschalk. The first round between the pair and Crozier was first to score with a reversal in the second round. His lead went up to 3-0 with a point for a violation by Gottschalk in the third round, and despite an escape by Gottschalk to bring the score to 3-1, Crozier was awarded an extra point for riding time as he cruised to the 4-1 decision.

The 184-pound bout featured Air Force senior Zane Hershey (Hugoton, Kan.) against Levi Krehmeyer. Krehmeyer scored a pair of takedowns in the first round to take a 4-1 lead. However, Hershey took the advantage in the second round with a reversal and two-point near fall. With both wrestlers starting out in the neutral position in the final round, Hershey scored the winning takedown and added a point for riding time to take the 8-4 decision to tie the match for Air Force.

Air Force senior Brenden McLean (Merlin, Ore.) was next up for the Falcons, wrestling Cody Nehl in the 197-pound bout. Nehl took the 4-1 lead in the first period with a pair of takedowns, and with McLean beginning the second round in the down position, continued to extend his advantage. Nehl scored yet another takedown in the third period, and despite another escape by McLean, was able to add a point for riding time to take the 7-2 decision, putting the Jackrabbits back on top, 9-6.

Frank McGrath (Fr., Hammonton, N.J.) trailed 2-1 early in the heavyweight match, with a takedown by opponent Jason Stripling. McGrath then started out the second period in the down position and could not score the escape, giving Stripling an extra point for riding time at the end of the bout, for the 4-2 decision.

South Dakota State's lead grew to 18-6 with an Air Force forfeit at 125 pounds, but the Falcons picked up six points with a forfeit by the Jackrabbits at 133 pounds. Trailing just six points, Air Force still had two more weight classes to try to pick up the difference.

First freshman Shane Manuel (Anchorage, Alaska) would see action at 141 pounds against Derek Pirner. However, Manuel trailed 5-0 in the first round, giving up a takedown and a three-point near fall. Though neither was able to score in the second round, Pirner added another takedown in the third round and added a point for riding time to take the 8-0 major decision.

With the meet already decided, Bridger Lord (Jr., Missoula, Mont.) and Brad Gregory met in the 149-pound bout. Gregory went up 4-0 with a takedown and two-point near fall, but Lord responded with a reversal before the end of the first period to trail 4-2. Gregory scored an escape in the second round to go up 5-2, and neither was able to score again as Gregory secured the three-point decision to give the Jackrabbits the 25-12 team victory.

The Falcons return to action next weekend, Feb. 4, when they travel to Kings Point, N.Y., to take part in the All-Academy Championships, hosted this year by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

South Dakota State 25, Air Force 12

157 - Andy Everson (SDSU) dec. Zach Lord, 11-8
165 - Justin Retallic (SDSU) dec. Greg Ford, 5-3 (SV)
174 - Stephen Crozier (AF) dec. Travis Gottschalk, 4-1
184 - Zane Hershey (AF) dec. Levi Krehmeyer, 8-4
197 - Cody Nehl (SDSU) dec. Brenden McLean, 7-2
HWT - Jason Stripling (SDSU) dec. Frank McGrath, 3-1
125 - Marcus Waters (SDSU) wins by forfeit
133 - Brandon Strong (AF) wins by forfeit
141 - Derek Pirner (SDSU) maj. dec. Shane Manuel, 8-0
149 - Brad Gregory (SDSU) dec. Bridger Lord, 5-2


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