Air Force Wrestlers Head to Las Vegas Invitational, Bob Smith Open

    Junior Andrew Zwirlein
    Junior Andrew Zwirlein

    Dec. 2, 2009

    The Air Force wrestling team returns to action this weekend, Dec. 4-5, for the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Meanwhile, another group of Falcons will compete at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open in Hays, Kan., on Dec. 5.

    About the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational...
    The 28th-annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational is being held at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev. Teams from 44 schools are slated to attend this weekend's tournament, including 11 teams that are nationally ranked in this week's NWCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll and four teams from the Western Wrestling Conference (Air Force, Northern Colorado, Utah Valley and Wyoming).

    Action begins Friday morning with pigtail rounds at 9:00, while quarterfinals and consolation rounds 1 & 2 are scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Saturday's action begins at 9:00 a.m., with the consolation finals slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. and the championship finals scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.

    Last Year at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational...
    Last year, Air Force sent four wrestlers to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. The top performer was Tyler French, who compiled a 3-2 overall record over the weekend, just one victory away from finishing as a placewinner.

    About the FHSU-Bob Smith Open...
    The annual FHSU-Bob Smith Open will be held at Gross Memorial Coliseum. The top four wrestlers in each of 10 weight classes will be awarded during the day's competition. Action is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (CT).

    Last Year at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open...
    Last year, Andrew Zwirlein led the Air Force contingent at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open, finished as the Falcons' lone placewinner with a third-place showing at 125 pounds.

    Last Time Out...
    The Falcons competed at the Kaufman-Brand Open, hosted by Nebraska-Omaha, Nov. 21. Five Air Force wrestlers were placewinners, led by senior Tyler French, who placed second in the Elite Division at 174 pounds.

     

     

    Also posting a top-six finish in the Elite Division for the Falcons was freshman Cole VonOhlen, who placed sixth at 141 pounds. Meanwhile, in the Amateur Division, freshmen Clayton Gable (157) and Greg Isley (184) each placed fourth, while Tyler Spangler finished fifth at 133 pounds.

    Scouting the Falcons...
    After the first two weekends of compeition, five Falcons--senior Tyler French and freshmen Tyler Spangler, Cole VonOhlen, Greg Isley and Josh Mohr--share the team lead for total victories with seven each.

    Thirteen different Air Force wrestlers have notched falls on the season, led by Dake Williams, who has recorded five pins. Meanwhile, freshman Garrett Soileau has posted the fastest fall of the young season, recording a pin in a time of 1:09.

    Up Next...
    Air Force opens its 2009-10 home and dual slate next weekend, Dec. 11, when they host Ohio and Colorado School of Mines. The Falcons host Ohio at 1:00 p.m., followed by a 2:30 p.m. match against Colorado School of Mines. The Bobcats and Orediggers will face each other in the final dual of the day, slated for 4:00 p.m. All matches will be held in Clune Arena.

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