USAFA, Colo. – In its first home dual of the season, the Air Force wrestling team earned a 26-15 victory over Western Wrestling Conference foe Utah Valley. The Falcons, who improve to 4-3 on the season and 1-1 in the WWC, won seven of 10 bouts against the Wolverines (3-5, 0-1).
With the dual beginning at 133 pounds, senior Tyler Untrauer (Midwest City, Okla.) got the Falcons out to a solid start, posting a 7-2 decision over Blake Mangum. Air Force’s lead in the team scoring increased to 6-0 after Carter McElhany (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) edged out Avery Garner in a 5-4 decision at 141 pounds.
In the 149-pound bout, third-ranked Cole VonOhlen (Jr., Jackson, Minn.) put forth a dominant performance, rolling to a 13-0 advantage over Sam Mecham after one period. With another takedown just 12 seconds into the second period, VonOhlen earned a 15-0 technical fall to give Air Force an 11-0 advantage.
The Falcons won their fourth-straight match as sophomore Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.) registered a 5-2 decision over Napoleon Aniciete at 157 pounds, before the Wolverines got on the board, recording a fall in the 165-pound match.
At 174 pounds, junior Clayton Gable (Dallastown, Pa.) got out to a slow start against Monte Schmalhaus, giving up an early takedown and spending most of the first period in the bottom period. However, he scored a reversal and a takedown in the second period, while riding out his man in the final period to earn the 5-3 decision. Air Force then increased its team lead to 20-6, as sophomore Greg Isley (Toledo, Ohio) scored all of his points in the second period to earn a 3-0 decision over David Prieto at 184 pounds.
The high scorer of the day for the Falcons came in the 197-pound bout, as Josh Mohr (Jr., Pewaukee, Wis.) registered a fall over Brian Chamberlain. Mohr trailed 7-2 in the second period, but scored a key reversal with 38 seconds on the clock and followed with the pin 11 seconds later.
While the Wolverines came back to win the final two bouts, earning a fall in the heavyweight match and a decision at 125 pounds, the Falcons were able to secure their first conference win of the season in the 26-15 victory.
“The number one thing we wanted to do tonight was come out and compete with heart, and I think we did that,” said head coach Joel Sharratt. “Utah Valley is a competitive team, and we fought through to score some points. Strategically, I think we made a couple of mistakes, choosing positions that helped them get back in a position to score versus us closing the door.”
“We’d like to thank the cadet wing for their tremendous support tonight, especially our mission partners in Cadet Squadron 21,” continued Sharratt. “We had a great crowd tonight, and the cadet representation was just awesome.”
The Falcons return to the mat on Saturday, Jan. 21, when they host Cal Poly and New Mexico Highlands in a pair of non-conference duals. The action begins at 5:00 p.m. in Clune Arena.
“I think this [win] gives us good momentum going into this weekend,” said Sharratt. “We’re going to face a tough Cal Poly team, along with some regional representation with Doug Moses and his squad at New Mexico Highlands. Tomorrow we’re going to get back in the wrestling room and work hard to get our boys ready for Saturday.”
Air Force 26, Utah Valley 15
133 Tyler Untrauer (AF) dec. Blake Mangum, 7-2
141 Carter McElhany (AF) dec. Avery Garner, 5-4
149 No. 3 Cole VonOhlen (AF) tech fall Sam Mecham, 15-0 (3:12)
157 Josh Kreimier (AF) dec. Napoleon Aniciete, 5-2
165 Ethan Smith (UVU) fall Colby Kluesner, 4:23
174 Clayton Gable (AF) dec. Monte Schmalhaus, 5-3
184 Greg Isley (AF) dec. David Prieto, 3-0
197 Josh Mohr (AF) fall Brian Chamberlain, 4:33
285 Dustin Dennison (UVU) fall Jared Erickson, 4:01
125 Colby Christensen (UVU) dec. Greg Rinker, 10-3