Falcons Finish Second At All-Academy Championships
Charleston, S.C. -
A pair of individual titles led the Air Force wrestling team to a second-place finish Saturday at the All-Academy Championships, hosted by The Citadel. The Falcons, who racked up 90 points, finished behind 21st-ranked Navy, which claimed its second-consecutive team title with 126.5 points. Army came in third with 76.5 points, The Citadel was fourth with 59 points and VMI rounded out the top five with 29 points.
Junior Brandon Strong (Albuquerque, N.M.) took home the individual title at 125 pounds, pinning Navy's Alex Usztics in a time of 1:32 in the finals.
Also grabbing winning an individual title was junior Beau Tresemer (Norman, Okla.) who captured the 165-pound weight class. Tresemer picked up a solid 6-1 decision over Army's Chad Marzec in the finals.
The Falcons also had six other wrestlers earn top-four finishes. Senior co-captain Jacob Lillich (Jay, Okla.) was the runner-up at 174 pounds after dropping a 5-3 sudden victory decision to Navy's Matt Stolpinski. Lillich had a 3-2 lead at the end of regulation, but Stolpinski was awarded a point for riding time to force the extra period and notched a takedown with eight seconds left in the overtime period.
Fellow co-captain Luke Lefever (La Crosse, Wis.) also lost a close match in the finals, coming up short in a 7-5 decision to Navy's Jon Kane to bring home a runner-up finish at 184 pounds.
At 133 pounds, junior Matt Benza (Tamaqua, Pa.) captured third place with a 10-4 decision over Tony Severo from Army. Sophomore Matt Crippes (Cloverdale, Calif.) also took home a third-place finish, pinning The Citadel's Michael Arias in a time of 4:52 for his team-leading 15th fall of the season.
Brothers Brenden and Trey McLean (Grants Pass, Ore.) were also winners in the consolation finals to earn third-place honors in their respective weight classes. Brenden captured a 2-1 tiebreak against Norwich's Silver Oghayore at 197 pounds, while Trey pinned the Coast Guard's Adam Kirking in a time of 1:49 to take third at heavyweight.
The Falcons return to action on Thursday, Feb. 9, when they host in-state rival Northern Colorado at 7:00 p.m. in Cadet East Gym.