Air Force Suffers 33-12 Loss To Wyoming
Laramie, Wyo. - Winning just two decisions in eight contested bouts, the Air Force wrestling team suffered a 33-12 dual meet loss to host Wyoming Friday evening in the UniWyo Sports Complex. The Falcons fall to 2-6 on the year, while the Cowboys improve to 8-7 on the season.
Wyoming took a 6-0 lead with the first bout at 165 pounds, as junior Zach Lord (Missoula, Mont.) was pinned at the 4:41 mark by Gary Dack. The Cowboys extended their advantage to 12-0 with another fall at 174 pounds, this time with Bryan Bernal pinning Air Force freshman Stephen Crozier (Monona, Iowa) in a time of 2:35.
Senior Zane Hershey (Hugoton, Kan.) put the Falcons on the board by winning a forfeit at 184 pounds, and then it was onto the 197-pound bout where Brenden McLean (Sr., Merlin, Ore.) went up against Malcolm Havens. Havens scored the first takedown to go up 2-0, but McLean answered with an escape 30 seconds later. After another takedown and three-point near fall, Havens had a 7-1 lead at the end of the opening period. He scored the lone point of the second period with an escape and in the third period, ventured into major decision territory with another takedown to go up 10-1. At that point, McLean began his comeback, first scoring an escape, followed by a takedown to bring the score to 10-4. As time expired, he was awarded three points for a near fall, but it was not enough, as Havens walked away with the 10-7 decision to put the Cowboys up 15-6.
In one of the closest bouts of the evening, Air Force freshman Frank McGrath (Hammonton, N.J.) was pitted against Wyoming senior Dusty Hoffschneider at heavyweight. Hoffschneider scored a takedown in the first round, but McGrath was able to score an escape to bring the score to 2-1. He then tied the match at 2-2 in the second period with another escape, and the score remained knotted going into the final period. However, Hoffschneider, who began the third period in the down position, scored an escape with just 34 seconds remaining to take the lead. McGrath could not get the winning takedown, as Hoffschneider captured the 3-2 decision.
Wyoming's lead grew to 24-6 with an Air Force forfeit at 125 pounds before Air Force senior co-captain Brandon Strong (Albuquerque, N.M.) went up against Tyson Shatto in another close match at 133 pounds. Shatto scored a takedown in the first round, but Strong was able to score an escape to bring the score to 2-1. Strong then tied the bout at 2-2 with another escape to open the second period, but Shatto regained the lead with another takedown a minute later. However, Strong was again able to score the escape to get within one point before the end of the second period. With both wrestlers beginning the final period in neutral, Shatto again notched a takedown to go up by three points, but Strong was able to score yet another escape. Trailing 6-4, Strong scored the tying takedown, his first of the bout, with 31 seconds remaining in regulation, and was able to hold on to force overtime. Strong recorded the winning takedown just seven seconds into the sudden victory period to win the 8-6 decision, bringing the team score to 24-9.
Sophomore Jake Kriegbaum (Abilene, Kan.) posted another victory for the Falcons at 141 pounds, this time over Wyoming's Shay Lawrence. Kriegbaum scored a takedown 45 seconds into the first period and was able to hold his advantage throughout. Though he did not score again in the bout, he was rewarded an extra point for riding time at the end of the match en route to the 3-0 decision.
Unfortunately, it would prove to be the final Falcon victory of the evening. Junior Chris Nissen (Denver, Colo.) was matched up against the Cowboys' Carter Downing at 149 pounds. Downing scored a takedown just seven seconds into the match and had a 5-0 lead 23 seconds with a three-point near fall. Nissen managed to score an escape to bring the score to 5-1, Downing was able to notch another takedown and three-point near fall. Nissen responded with another escape and closed out the period with a takedown of his own to bring the score to 10-4. Downing increased his advantage in the second period, notching an early reversal and yet another near fall, to build a 15-4 lead going into the final period. Nissen was able to cut into his deficit with a takedown 27 seconds into the third period and rode his advantage out for the remainder of the bout, recording his own near fall as time expired. However, it was not enough for the win, and with an additional point for riding time, Downing captured the 16-9 decision.
Though the match was already decided, the Cowboys were able to extend the final margin in the final bout of the evening, the 157-pound match, when junior Bridger Lord (Missoula, Mont.), was pinned by Kyle Dye in a time of 3:55. With the last match under wraps, Wyoming had captured the 33-12 victory.
The Falcons wrap up the regular season with a pair of dual meets in Greeley, Colo., next Friday, Feb. 23. Air Force will first face Utah Valley State in a neutral site match-up at 4:00 p.m., followed by a meeting with host Northern Colorado at 6:00 p.m.
Wyoming 33, Air Force 12
165 - Gary Dack (UW) fall Zach Lord, 4:51
174 - Bryan Bernal (UW) fall Stephen Crozier, 2:35
184 - Zane Hershey (AF) wins by forfeit
197 - Malcolm Havens (UW) dec. Brenden McLean, 10-7
HWT - Dusty Hoffschneider (UW) dec. Frank McGrath, 3-2
125 - Bryce Leonhardt (UW) wins by forfeit
133 - Brandon Strong (AF) dec. Tyson Shatto, 8-6 (SV)
141 - Jake Kriegbaum (AF) dec. Shay Lawrence, 3-0
149 - Carter Downing (UW) dec. Chris Nissen, 16-9
157 - Kyle Dye (UW) fall Bridger Lord, 3:55