March 19, 2003
March 20-22, 2003
Kemper Arena -Kansas City, Mo.
No. 14 Heath McKim - 125 pounds
No. 2 Kevin Hoy - Heavyweight
Chris Bennett - 141 pounds
Luke Lefever - 184 pounds
WEST REGIONALS - RECAP:
Air Force finished in second place at the West Regional wrestling tournament, but are only sending two wrestlers to nationals. Kevin Hoy (Hwt) and Heath McKim (125) each won their weight classes to earn an automatic bid to the 2002-03 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Hoy was selected the 'Outstanding Wrestler' after winning both of his matches against ranked opponents, 7-2 over Brad Steele of Wyoming and 6-4 over Paul Hynek of UNI in the championship match. McKim defeated UNI's Chris Helgeson with a 5-3 decision to win the 125-pound weight class.
No. 2 KEVIN HOY:
Team co-captain Kevin Hoy (Hwt) is ranked second in the nation in several polls and third in others. He has a legitimate shot at a national championship. Hoy leads the team with a 40-3 record and a number two national ranking. Hoy, an All-American wrestler, has won his last 23 matches, including seven against national-ranked opponents. He is the Falcons winningest wrestler with 156 career victories.
No. 14 HEATH McKIM:
Heath McKim (125 pounds) is the team's only other national qualifier. It is his second trip to the national tournament. Last season he finished 3-2 at the big dance. He is ranked 14th in the nation by Intermat and enters the championships with a 29-12 record.
Air Force is coached by Wayne Baughman (Oklahoma, 1963). This is Baughman's 24th year as head coach of the Falcons. He has compiled an overall dual record of 173-112-4.
FIRST ROUND OPPONENTS
Heath McKim is unseeded for the 2002-03 NCAA Championships. He will face Tony Black from Wisconsin in the opening round of the tournament. Black is the 10th seed.
Kevin Hoy received a well-deserved number two seed for the tournament. He will face unseeded Joe Sahl of Lehigh in the first round.
Full brackets can be found at:
HOY'S ROAD TO CHAMPIONSHIP
Hoy has a tough road to winning a tournament championship. He could face Northern Iowa's Paul Hynek in round three. He notched a come-from-behind overtime win over Hynek in the West Regionals. He could then face Ohio State's Tommy Rowlands, last year's national champion and the No. 3 seed. If he makes the finals, he will meet Iowa's Steve Mocco, the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the nation. Mocca is undefeated in 31 matches this year.
HOY vs. MOCCA
Mocca pinned Hoy in their only meeting this season. It was in the Midlands Tournament and came at the 1:58 mark.
ON THE AIR
If Hoy makes it to the finals against Mocca, fans can listen to the match live at Iowa's website at www.hawkeyesports.com. Follow the links to the wrestling schedule. ESPN2 will be broadcasting the final matches tape delay on Saturday at 7 p.m. MST.
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
Opening ceremonies begin on Wednesday, March 19th. Sessions one and two are on Thursday, March 20th at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sessions three and four are on Friday, March 21st, at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Session five will be on Saturday, March 22nd, at 8 a.m. with the final session at 2:30 p.m. (times CST) All matches will be held at Kemper Arena.