Falcons Begin 2005-06 Season At Cowboy Open
The Air Force wrestling team gets its 2005-06 season off to a start this weekend, Nov. 13, as it travels to Laramie, Wyo., for the annual Cowboy Open, hosted by the University of Wyoming.
Scouting the Falcons...
With all four of its NCAA qualifiers from last season returning, Air Force is set for a successful year in 2005-06. Among the nine returning letterwinners are senior co-captains Brandon Strong and Beau Tresemer. Strong is a two-time NCAA qualifier, and hopes to make a return trip to the national championships this season. Meanwhile, Tresemer led the Falcons with an impressive 32 victories last season, while also compiling a 10-2 dual meet record at 165 pounds.
Other returning national qualifiers include Matt Benza, Brenden McLean and Jake Kriegbaum. Benza, a 133-pounder, and McLean, wrestling at 197 pounds, each made their first trips to the NCAAs last year as juniors, while Kriegbaum qualified at 141-lbs. last season during his freshman campaign. In addition, junior Chris Nissen, who participated at the NCAA Championships as a freshman, returns to the Air Force lineup after sitting out most of the 2004-05 season due to injury.
In addition to a solid core of experienced veterans, Air Force welcomes several newcomers to the Falcon squad who should become immediate contributors. This year's incoming class should help give Air Force greater depth throughout most of the weight classes. If the Falcons are able to avoid the injuries that have plagued the team in recent years, the 2005-06 campaign could be an exceptional success.
Last Year At The Cowboy Open...
Last season, senior captain Josh Peterson finished first at 149 pounds, while four other Falcons were placewinners at the 2004 Cowboy Open.
Matt Benza took second at 133 pounds, Brandon Strong finished third at 125 pounds and Zane Hershey and Brenden McLean each placed fourth at 184 and 197 pounds, respectively.
In the National Rankings...
Three Air Force seniors find themselves in the national rankings to begin the 2005-06 season, as returning NCAA participants Brandon Strong, Matt Benza and Brenden McLean are all rated in the top 20 of their respective weight classes in the preseason NWCA/Intermat/NWMA poll. Strong is ranked 13th at 125 pounds, while Benza and McLean are both rated 19th, at 133 and 197 pounds, respectively.
In addition, Benza and McLean were both ranked in the preseason polls by Amateur Wrestling News and W.I.N. Magazine. Benza is ranked 15th and 19th, respectively, by the two publications, while McLean is listed 19th and 20th.
The Falcons continue the season with another open event, this time traveling to Greeley, Colo., for the Northern Colorado Open on Saturday, Nov. 19.