Falcons Set To Compete At 2006 NCAA Championships
The Air Force wrestling team heads to Oklahoma City, Okla., this week, March 16-18, for the 2006 NCAA Championships, being held at the Ford Center. Representing the Falcons at this year's national tournament are senior Brandon Strong (133), sophomore Jake Kriegbaum (141), senior Beau Tresemer (165) and senior Brenden McLean (197).
Last Time Out...
The Falcons finished just a half-point out of third place, tallying 60.5 points to take fourth at the 2006 NCAA West Regional, hosted by Wyoming.
While no Air Force wrestler brought home an individual championship, seniors Brandon Strong and Brenden McLean and sophomore Jake Kriegbaum all finished second in their respective weight classes to earn at-large bids to the national championships. Meanwhile, senior Beau Tresemer took third-place en route to his at-large selection to the national meet. Also posting top-three finishes were juniors Chris Nissen (149), named an NCAA alternate, and Bridger Lord (157) and freshman Stephen Crozier (184). In addition, Air Force head coach Wayne Baughman, in his 27th and final season at the helm of the Falcons' program was named Coach of the Year in the West Regional.
Last Year At The NCAA Championships...
Air Force sent four wrestlers to the 2005 NCAA Championships, led by repeat qualifier Brandon Strong. Joining Strong, the Falcons' representative at 125 pounds, were Matt Benza (133), Jake Kriegbaum (141) and Brenden McLean (197).
McLean went 2-2 at the national meet, Strong and Benza each notched 1-2 records, and Kriegbaum, the lone Air Force freshman competing at last year's NCAAs, went 0-2 for the tournament.
Of Air Force's four NCAA qualifiers in this year's meet, three have some previous NCAA experience, led by senior co-captain Brandon Strong, ready to take part in his third national meet. Both Jake Kriegbaum and Brenden McLean were NCAA participants last year, while Beau Tresemer, a senior co-captain this season, makes his first NCAA appearance.
In addition, junior Chris Nissen, named an alternate at 149 pounds to the 2006 NCAA Championships, has also had experience at the national tournament, qualifying as a freshman in 2004.
All-Time AF All-Americans...
This year, Brandon Strong, Jake Kriegbaum, Beau Tresemer and Brenden McLean will all hope to join the ranks of such decorated individuals as Don Henderson, Terry Isaacson, Kirt Donaldson, Ken Donaldson, Bob Orwig, Terry Parham, Scott Frohardt and Kevin Hoy--Air Force's All-American wrestlers. Among the group of eight All-Americans are one national champion (Henderson), three NCAA runners-up (Isaacson, Ken Donaldson and Hoy) and two multiple All-America performers (Isaacson and Hoy).