Air Force Heads To NCAA West Regional

March 2, 2007

The Air Force wrestling team heads to the NCAA West Regional this week, March 3, as the Falcons battle for a chance to compete at the NCAA Championships to wrap up the season. This year's regional qualifier is being held in Cedar Falls, Iowa, hosted by Northern Iowa. The action starts out at 10:00 a.m. with the quarterfinals, while finals are slated to begin at 5:00 p.m.

Last Time Out...
The Falcons wrapped up the 2006-07 dual slate with a 25-20 victory over WWC foe Northern Colorado. Captains Bridger and Zach Lord picked up victories on Senior Night, while also posting wins for the Falcons were juniors Jake Kriegbaum and Jacob Devlin and sophomore Jordan Tribble.

Scouting the Falcons...
Air Force finished the regular season with a 6-10 dual mark and 3-1 record in the Western Wrestling Conference.

Bridger Lord and Jake Kriegbaum, who each have 10 dual victories on the season, are among the leaders for the Falcons.

The Field...
This year's West Regional features WWC teams Air Force, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Wyoming, along with Eastern Illinois.

The Lineup...
The Falcons' probable lineup for this week's West Regional follows: 125-Zach Valdez; 133-Stephen Makuka; 141-Jake Kriegbaum; 149-Bridger Lord; 157-Zach Lord; 165-Tony Dorward; 174-Stephen Crozier; 184-Jacob Devlin; 197-Jordan Tribble; HWT-Anthony Stegeman.

Last Year at the West Regional...
Air Force finished just a half-point out of third place at the 2006 West Regional, taking fourth place with a team score of 60.5 points. Three Falcons finished as runner-ups in their respective weight classes--Brandon Strong (133), Jake Kriegbaum (141) and Brenden McLean (197)--with all three earning at-large bids to the NCAA Championships. In addition, four other Air Force wrestlers finished third, with senior Beau Tresemer (165) getting an at-large nod to the national meet.

WWC Wrestler of the Week...
On Feb. 27, senior captain Zach Lord became the latest Air Force wrestler to earn WWC Wrestler of the Week honors. Lord notched a fall over UNC's Luke Salazar in a time of 5:26 to help lead the Falcons to their fourth-straight dual victory.

Earlier in the season, Bridger Lord also earned the award after helping the Falcons pick up their first conference victory against South Dakota State, recording his first fall of the season, pinning Sean Flynn in a time of 1:33.

Meanwhile, junior heavyweight Anthony Stegeman became the first Air Force wrestler to receive WWC accolades after going 3-0 against North Dakota State, Adams State and Portland State. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native registered a fall, a decision and a tech fall in his three wins.

Up Next...
The Falcons who perform well at the West Regional will move on to the NCAA Championships, March 15-17, in Auburn Hills, Mich.

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