Air Force Grapplers Head To NCAA West Regional Championships
The Falcons head to Fresno, Calif., on Saturday, March 5, for the West Regional Championships where they will vie for the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Championships.
Last Time Out...The Falcons lost a heartbreaker to Wyoming, 25-24, Wednesday night to wrap up its dual season at 5-7.
Air Force, which trailed 12-0 after the first two bouts, rallied back with two straight pins--by Beau Tresemer and Steven Ratley, respectively--to tie the score at 12-12. After Wyoming regained the lead with a decision at 184 pounds, a forfeit by the Cowboys put Air Force back on top at 18-15. However, the Falcons dropped the next three bouts to trail 25-18. With the match already decided, sophomore Matt Crippes recorded his team-leading 19th fall of the season to bring Air Force within a point.
The Teams... Five teams will compete at this weekend's NCAA West Regional. The West Regional affords these five independent schools the opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships, which will take place March 18-20 in St. Louis, Mo. The other teams competing at the West Regional include Air Force, Eastern Illinois, host Fresno State, Northern Iowa and Wyoming.
Last Year At The West Regional... The Falcons were led by then-sophomore Brandon Strong (133 lbs.) and freshman Chris Nissen (149 lbs.)at last year's West Regional, with each placing second to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships.
The probable lineup for the Falcons this weekend follows:
125 Brandon Strong (23-6)133 Matt Benza (21-10)141 Jake Kriegbaum (18-10)149 Josh Peterson (14-15)157 Anthony Dorward (13-18)165 Beau Tresemer (31-11)174 Steven Ratley (15-6)184 Luke Lefever (23-15)197 Brenden McLean (25-12)Hwt Trey McLean (20-11)
On A Roll...Several Air Force wrestlers are currently on hot streaks. Brandon Strong has won 11 matches in a row, although he has not wrestled since Feb. 5. Meanwhile, junior Beau Tresemer has won 17 of his last 19 bouts, with the lone loss es coming to nationally ranked Matthew Palmer of Columbia and Jacob Klein of Nebraska.