Dec. 7, 2007
The Air Force wrestling team opens its 2007-08 dual slate this weekend, Dec. 8, when it hosts Western State. The match is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Cadet West Gym as part of a joint event with the Falcons' women's gymnastics team.
Last Time Out...
Two Air Force wrestlers took first place at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open last weekend, while two others finished second. Senior Zach Valdez captured first place at 125 pounds, while junior Stephen Crozier earned the title at 165 pounds. Valdez and Crozier each went 5-0 on the weekend en route to their championships
Placing second for the Falcons were freshman Derek Gillespie, wrestling at 133 pounds, and heavyweight Anthony Stegeman. Gillespie went 4-1 on the weekend, while Stegeman put together a 3-1 mark.
Scouting the Falcons...
Leading Air Force so far this season is freshman Derek Gillespie, who has finished as a placewinner in all three open events this season, entering this weekend with a 13-2 overall record. Senior Anthony Stegeman and sophomore Tyler French are both tied for second on the team in total wins with 10, as Stegeman finished second at the Fort Hays Open and third at the Cowboy Open, while French took fourth at the Kaufman/Brand Open.
Meanwhile, senior captain Chris Szabolcs leads the team with four falls on the season, while sophomore Kurt Spranger owns a fastest fall of 46 seconds.
Scouting the Mountaineers...
WWC Wrestler of the Week...
Western State, currently ranked sixth among Division II teams, enters this weekend with a 3-1 dual record. Among the top performers for the Mountaineers are Larry Wilbanks and Donovan McMahill, who each advanced to the round of 16 at last weekend's Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Wilbanks currently holds a 12-5 record on the season, while McMahill has a team-best 15-4 mark.
Junior Stephen Crozier
was named the Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 5 after capturing first place at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open.
Crozier was one of two champions for the Falcons last weekend. Wrestling at 165 pounds, the unseeded Crozier began the day with a pair of tech falls, before knocking off the top-seed, pinning Oklahoma State's Kyle Griffin in a time of 3:22. After registering a major decision in the next round, Crozier picked up an 8-6 decision in overtime over second-seed Taylor May of Nebraska-Kearney to take the championship.
The Falcons head to Evanston, Ill., Dec. 29-30 for the 45th-annual Midlands Invitational, hosted by Northwestern.
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