Oct. 21, 2011
USAFA, Colo. - The Air Force wrestling team will hold its preseason media day on Oct. 25 in the Cadet Field House media room, beginning at approximately 1:45 p.m. Joining head coach Joel Sharratt in the press conference format will be team captains Alec Williams and Cole VonOhlen, as well as freshman Carter McElhany, a Colorado Springs product.
Williams, a senior from Fultondale, Ala., was chosen by his teammates as a captain after posting a career-best 26 victories at 157 pounds last season. The three-year starter for the Falcons was one of seven Air Force wrestlers to surpass the 20-win plateau in 2010-11.
VonOhlen, a junior from Jackson, Minn., was named the first non-senior to hold the position of wrestling team captain since the 1971-72 season. The two-time NCAA qualifier has recorded 75 career victories in just two seasons, including 44 wins during the 2010-11 campaign and enters the season ranked seventh in the nation at 141 pounds by Intermat.
Meanwhile, McElhany joins the Falcons this year after a successful career at Coronado High School. The four-time state medalist won back-to-back state titles at 125 and 130 pounds and posted a career record of 157-8. This season, McElhany is expected to challenge for a starting position in the Falcons' lineup.
Air Force kicks off its season on Wednesday, Oct. 26, with its annual Blue-Silver Intrasquad match at 6:30 p.m. in Clune Arena. The event, which is open to the public and will also be videostreamed at goairforcefalcons.com, will feature 10 bouts to determine the Falcons' starting lineup heading into the season.
The Falcons are coming off one of their most successful campaigns in recent history, as they compiled a 12-5 dual record for the team's first winning season since 2003. This year, Air Force returns seven starters from the squad which placed third at the NCAA West Regional, including five wrestlers who surpassed 20 wins in 2010-11.
Air Force's first official action of the year comes on Nov. 6, as they travel to Salem, Va., for the Hokie Open. Other highlights of this year's slate include the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and Reno Tournament of Champions in December, home conference duals against Utah Valley and Wyoming and the All-Academy Championships, which will be held Feb. 5 in Clune Arena.
Note: Prior to Tuesday's press conference, fans will be given an opportunity to submit questions to Coach Sharratt and the cadet-athletes via the Air Force Wrestling Facebook page (facebook.com/AirForceWrestling).