Dec. 31, 2012
The Air Force wrestling team begins the new year at the Southern Scuffle, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Jan. 1-2.
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN SCUFFLE...
The Southern Scuffle, one of the nation's premier invitationals, will feature athletes from 23 teams. Among the seven top-20 ranked programs slated to compete are the top three teams in the latest coaches poll--Penn State, Oklahoma State and Minnesota. In addition, Northern Colorado and South Dakota State will join Air Force in representing the Western Wrestling Conference.
Action begins both days at 10:00 am, while finals are slated to start at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Trackwrestling.com will provide updated scoring throughout the tournament, while Flowrestling will provide live video coverage (by subscription only).
SOUTHERN SCUFFLE PRESEEDS...
Preseeds for the 2013 Southern Scuffle were announced on Sunday, with five Falcons earning seeds. Leading the way are seventh-ranked senior Cole VonOhlen and 15th-ranked junior Josh Kreimier, who enter the tournament seeded third at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively. In addition, freshman Josh Martinez, ranked 12th by InterMat, is seeded seventh at 125 pounds.
Also earning preseeds for Air Force are senior Gabe Martinez, who will wrestle at 165 pounds for the first time this season as the 11th seed, and freshman Konner Witt, who enters as the eighth seed at 184 pounds with a perfect 14-0 record on the year.
LAST TIME OUT...
Air Force opened its 2012-13 dual slate Dec. 7 at the "Battle for the Planes" in Jackson, Minn. The Falcons posted a 3-0 record, earning wins over Dakota Wesleyan (46-0), Northwestern College (53-0) and Augustana (36-0).
Senior Cole VonOhlen (149) and sophomores Carter McElhany (141) and Bentley Alsup (HWT) led the Falcons, each posting 3-0 records, while Josh Martinez (125), Dylan Hyder (133), Gabe Martinez (157), Josh Kreimier (157/165), Willie Baker (174), Konner Witt (184) and Josh Mohr (197) won two matches each. Air Force was dominant in its three duals, outscoring its opponents 135-0, winning nine matches by fall or technical fall.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS...
Air Force, which holds a 3-0 dual record, is led by nationally ranked senior captain Cole VonOhlen (149), who has recorded a 16-1 mark on the season, while freshman Konner Witt (184) is undefeated on the year at 14-0. In addition, newcomer Tyler Mergen (165) has a team-best 21 wins on the year.
Meanwhile, 32 different Falcons have registered falls, led by VonOhlen with nine falls on the year. Sophomore Cody Hancock has the fastest fall of the early season, recording a fall in a time of 0:24.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS...
As a team, Air Force currently ranks 26th in W.I.N. Magazine's Tournament Power Index and 29th in WrestlingReport.com's team rankings. Meanwhile, Air Force currently has four wrestlers ranked by various wrestling publications. Senior captain Cole VonOhlen, a returning three-time NCAA qualifier, is rated seventh in the nation at 149 pounds by InterMat, while he is ranked fifth by Amateur Wrestling News, W.I.N. Magazine, WrestlingReport.com and DI College Wrestling.
Junior Josh Kreimier, a 2012 NCAA qualifier who saw his first action of the year at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open on Dec. 1, is currently ranked 15th at 157 pounds by InterMat. He is also rated 11th by W.I.N. Magazine, 15th by Amateur Wrestling News, 20th by DI College Wrestling and 23rd by WrestlingReport.com.
Following his third-place finish at the CKLV Invitational, freshman Josh Martinez entered several polls at 125 pounds and is currently ranked 12th by WrestlingReport.com, 13th by DI College Wrestling and 15th by W.I.N. Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News.
Meanwhile, WrestlingReport.com added another Falcon to its rankings, listing junior Devin Hightower 32nd on the list at 184 pounds.
The Falcons open up their home slate next week, Jan. 11, when they host a dual versus 10th-ranked Oregon State. Air Force will also send a group to the Borah Duals, hosted by Western State, on Jan. 12, while welcoming Northern Iowa and New Mexico Highlands to Clune Arena for three duals on Jan. 13.