AIR FORCE vs. #14 WYOMING
Friday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m.
Clune Arena, USAFA, CO
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THIS WEEKEND: The Falcons will take on the 14th-ranked University of Wyoming, Friday
evening at 7 p.m., in Clune Arena, USAFA. The meeting marks the 53rd contest between the teams; the Pokes lead the series, 40-12.
Wyoming (12-3, 6-2 Big 12) is led by the No. 1 141-pounder in the nation in two-time All-American and NCAA finalist, Bryce Meredith (25-1, 15-0 duals). The Pokes two other top-10 athletes in freshman 133-pounder, No. 8 Montorie Bridges (28-3, 14-0 duals), and 2017 157-pound NCAA qualifier, No. 9 Archie Colgan (28-7, 10-3 duals). No. 13 165- pounder Branson Ashworth (30-3, 14-1 duals), rounds out Wyoming's top wrestlers.
Air Force (7-4, 2-3 Big 12)
125: Drew Romero, Sr., (1-0, 1-0 duals)
133: Isaac Jimenez, Jr., (9-5, 2-2 duals)
141: Alec Opsal, So., (12-4, 6-0 duals)
149: Dane Robbins, Sr., (15-9, 8-3 duals)
157: Alex Mossing, Jr., (12-6, 3-2 duals)
165: Alex Lopouchanski, Jr., (8-6, 4-3 duals)
174: Michael Billingsley, Sr., (12-10, 4-4 duals)
184: Zen Ikehara, Sr., (12-6, 5-3 duals)
197: Casey Jumps, Fr., (10-6, 1-2 duals)
285: Matt Wagner, So., (10-12, 3-6 duals)
#14 Wyoming (12-3, 6-2 Big 12)
125: Drake Foster, So. (17-10, 7-6 duals)
133: #8 Montorie Bridges, RFr. (28-3, 14-0)
141: #1 Bryce Meredith, Sr. (25-1, 15-0)
149: Sam Turner, RFr. (22-13, 10-5)
157: #9 Archie Colgan, Sr. (28-7, 10-3)
165: #13 Branson Ashworth, Jr. (30-3, 14-1)
174: Kyle Pope, Sr. (20-10, 10-4)
184: Chaz Polson, Sr. (25-9, 7-5)
197: Luke Paine, Sr. (3-1, 3-1)
285: Sam Eagan, Jr. (12-10, 6-4)
LAST TIME THEY MET: In their final road dual of the 2017 season, Air Force dropped a 29-9 loss to Big 12 foe, Wyoming, in the UniWyo Sports Complex, Laramie, Wyo. Two Falcon seniors posted wins in the 133 and 149 class.
LAST WEEKEND: Air Force notched two major decisions and a fall to fly by Utah Valley, 26-10, in Big 12 Conference action on Senior Night in Clune Arena. The Falcons recorded their first win against a top-25 team since head coach Sam Barber took the helm in 2014.
IN THE RANKINGS: Three Falcons were ranked in the top-33 of their respective weight classes in the first coaches' poll of the season. Tony DeCesare and McLaughlin both checked in at No. 32 of their respective weight divisions, while Alex Mossing checked in at No. 31 in the 157 division.
A QUICK LOOK AT AIR FORCE: The Falcons are led by Dane Robbins (149) with eight wins on the dual slate. Teammate Alec Opsal (141) is second on the team with a perfect 6-0 dual mark and a 4-0 record in Big 12 dual contests. Opsal leads the team with 22 bonus points in dual action by way of three falls and a major decision while Tony DeCesare (125) is tied for second with Matt Wagner (285) with 10 bonus points in nine dual matches each.
Junior 133-pounder Isaac Jimenez recorded the first major upset of the season, upending No. 2 Scott Parker (Lehigh) in the first round of the Southern Scuffle with an 8-6 SV win; he finished eighth in the tournament. In the same round of the Scuffle, in his debut match at 149, Robbins upended No. 13 Ronnie Perry (Lock Haven), 4-3. DeCesare showed his skill at the Scuffle by posting a 5-2 record for a fifth-place finish. He is the first Air Force freshman to place at the Scuffle since Josh Martinez in 2012.
Overall, sophomore 141-pounder Garrett O'Shea and senior 149-pounder Dane Robbins lead the Falcons with 15 wins apiece, while freshman teammates, Jimmy Weaver and DeCesare are second on the team with 14 wins each. Freshman classmate Lenny Petersen leads the team in bonus points with 36 after recording four falls at the UNK-Holiday Inn Open. Petersen leads the squad with six falls. Air Force has seen three tournament champions this season. Opsal claimed the title at the Cowboy Open (elite), Noah Irons was champion at the UNC Open, and most recently, McLaughlin posted his first-place finish at the All-Academy Championships.