USAFA, Colo. – The Air Force wrestling team wrapped up a strong week of home competition on Saturday, winning a pair of duals versus Cal Poly and New Mexico Highlands. The Falcons won seven of 10 bouts against Cal Poly, which is ranked 19th by InterMatWrestle.com, to earn a 30-15 victory over the Mustangs. Meanwhile, Air Force swept New Mexico Highlands, rolling to a 44-0 victory over the Cowboys.
Air Force (6-3) got out to a strong start against Cal Poly, as Greg Rinker (So., Northampton, Pa.) and Dylan Hyder (Fr., Yelm, Wash.) each recorded a major decision at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively. The Mustangs earned their first win of the match at 141 pounds, as fourth-ranked Boris Novachkov earned a fall to bring the team score to 8-6.
A tech fall by third-ranked Cole VonOhlen (Jr., Jackson, Minn.) in the 149-pound match pushed the Falcons’ lead to 13-6. Meanwhile, sophomores Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Colby Kluesner (Denver, Colo.) each posted major decisions in their respective weight classes, giving Air Force a 21-6 advantage.
One of the toughest matches of the dual came at 174 pounds, as the Falcons’ Clayton Gable (Dallastown, Pa.) took on fourth-ranked Ryan DesRoches. While DesRoches retained control for nearly two minutes in the opening period after an early takedown, Gable was able to score a reversal with just 10 seconds remaining and picked up three near fall points to take a 5-2 lead into the second period. After DesRoches came back to tie the score, Gable led again in the final period, 6-5, but DesRoches closed out the match with a takedown and an extra point for riding time in an 8-6 decision.
Sophomore Greg Isley (Toledo, Ohio) picked up another close win for the Falcons at 184 pounds, earning a 5-3 decision to put Air Force ahead 24-9, clinching the team victory. The Mustangs earned another victory at 197 pounds, as 18th-ranked Ryan Smith recorded a fall, while Jared Erickson (Jr., Newton, Utah) took a win by injury default in the heavyweight bout to close out the dual.
“We wrestled well today,” said Air Force head coach Joel Sharratt. “Anytime we give up pins, it’s obviously something we have to work on, but Cal Poly is a quality team, and this puts us in a good position with two conference duals coming up next week.”
Following the win over Cal Poly, Air Force was right back on the mat to take on New Mexico Highlands. The Falcons were able to post their second shutout of the season, winning all 10 duals against the Cowboys. Rinker, VonOhlen and Kreimier all earned falls for Air Force, while Gable added a technical fall. Carter McElhany (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kluesner and Erickson each scored extra team points by winning major decisions in their respective weight classes, while Hyder, Isley and Josh Mohr (Jr., Pewaukee, Wis.) each registered decisions.
VonOhlen, who registered his team-leading eighth fall of the season, also reached an historic milestone in his match against New Mexico Highlands, recording his 100th career victory. VonOhlen becomes the first Falcon to reach the 100-win plateau since the 2001-02 season.
Meanwhile, with their three dual victories this week, the Falcons are undefeated at home this season, with a match-up against nationally ranked conference rival Wyoming looming on Feb. 2.
“We’re wrestling well in Clune right now,” stated Sharratt. “It’s a great wrestling venue, and it’s awesome having the support from the Academy’s senior leadership. It means a lot to our guys to have them in attendance.”
At the conclusion of the Falcons’ varsity duals on Saturday evening, the Air Force Silver Team took on New Mexico Highlands, earning a 34-10 victory. The Cowboys won the first two bouts, but the Falcons regrouped with eight straight wins, including a fall by Chris Morales (So., Rio Rancho, N.M.) at 174 pounds. Dan Barringer (So., Monument, Colo.) recorded a technical fall at 165 pounds, while Daniel Baucke (So., Memphis, Tenn.) and Alec Williams (Sr., Fultondale, Ala.) earned major decisions at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively.
Also posting wins for the Silver team were Devin Hightower (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.), Evan Gros (So., Lake Orion, Mich.) and Brook Gosch (So., Orwigsburg, Pa.), who each recorded decisions for the Falcons, and Cody Hancock (Fr., Wrightwood, Calif.), who was awarded a forfeit victory at 141 pounds.
The Falcons are back in action next weekend, Jan. 27 and Jan. 29, as they visit conference foes North Dakota State and South Dakota State, respectively.
Air Force 30, Cal Poly 15
125 Greg Rinker (AF) maj. dec. Michael Clemmensen, 15-4
133 Dylan Hyder (AF) maj. dec. Chris Calcagno, 13-5
141 No. 4 Boris Novachkov (CP) fall Carter McElhany, 2:12
149 No. 3 Cole VonOhlen (AF) tech fall Kyle Chene, 17-2 (5:13)
157 Josh Kreimier (AF) maj. dec. Gianpier Yanez, 12-4
165 Colby Kluesner (AF) maj. dec. Paul Woodman, 13-1
174 No. 4 Ryan DesRoches (CP) dec. Clayton Gable, 8-6
184 Greg Isley (AF) dec. Sean Dougherty, 5-3
197 No. 18 Ryan Smith (CP) fall Josh Mohr, 0:47
285 Jared Erickson (AF) inj. def. Ian Daube
Air Force 44, New Mexico Highlands 0
125 Greg Rinker (AF) fall Tre Humphrey, 4:14
133 Dylan Hyder (AF) dec. Edward Zuckerman, 9-6
141 Carter McElhany (AF) maj. dec. Danny Perales, 9-0
149 No. 3 Cole VonOhlen (AF) fall Stephen Apodaca, 2:18
157 Josh Kreimier (AF) fall Travis Saxon, 2:32
165 Colby Kluesner (AF) maj. dec. Chris Apodaca, 16-6
174 Clayton Gable (AF) tech fall Easton Hargrave, 17-0 (7:00)
184 Greg Isley (AF) dec. Igor Gomzin, 9-2
197 Josh Mohr (AF) dec. Justin Rockhill, 14-7
285 Jared Erickson (AF) maj. dec. Louis Thornton, 8-0