Feb. 11, 2011
OREM, Utah. - In a back-and-forth dual meet that came down to the last bout, the Air Force wrestling team fell to Utah Valley, 23-20, Friday evening. With the loss, the Falcons drop to 10-4 overall on the year and 2-2 in the Western Wrestling Conference, while the Wolverines improve to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the league.
With the dual starting at 133 pounds, Utah Valley got out to an early 6-0 lead with a first-period fall by 13th-ranked Flint Ray. However, Air Force tied the score in the next match, as 11th-ranked Cole VonOhlen (So., Jackson, Minn.) got a fall of his own, pinning Justin Morrill in a time of 2:48.
The Wolverines regained their lead by winning a decision at 149 pounds, while Air Force took its first advantage of the dual as junior Alec Williams (Fultondale, Ala.) recorded a 13-5 major decision in the 157-pound bout. However, Utah Valley earned a technical fall at 165 pounds to take a 14-10 advantage in the team scoring.
Back-to-back decisions at 174 and 184 pounds gave Air Force the lead once more, as seniors Joseph Stafford (Loomis, Calif.) and Kazden Ikehara (Mililani, Hawaii) earned 6-4 and 6-1 victories, respectively. The Wolverines responded with a 3-1 sudden victory at 197 pounds, earning a 17-16 advantage with just two matches remaining.
In the heavyweight matchup, sophomore Jared Erickson (Newton, Utah) gave the Falcons a boost, scoring a 10-2 major decision to give Air Force the 20-17 lead with just one bout left. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Utah Valley senior Ben Kjar, ranked 13th in the nation at 125 pounds, gave a clutch performance in his final home dual, recording a fall to give the Wolverines the three-point victory.
The Falcons now return home for their last three dual meets of the season, beginning with a double-header in Clune Arena on Sunday, Feb. 13. Air Force will host Northern Iowa in a WWC match-up at 2:00 p.m., followed by a dual versus New Mexico Highlands at 4:00 p.m. Admission for both duals is free. Utah Valley 23, Air Force 20
133 - No. 13 Flint Ray (UVU) fall Derek Gillespie, 2:51
141 - No. 11 Cole VonOhlen (AF) fall Justin Morrill, 2:48
149 - Josh Wilson (UVU) dec. Josh Kreimier, 5-2
157 - Alec Williams (AF) maj. dec. Richard Winger, 13-5
165 - Jeb Clark (UVU) tech fall Clayton Gable, 15-0 (6:59)
174 - Joseph Stafford (AF) dec. Brad Darrington, 6-4
184 - Kazden Ikehara (AF) dec. Casen Eldredge, 6-1
197 - Trevor Rupp (UVU) dec. Neil Delaney, 3-1 (SV)
285 - Jared Erickson (AF) maj. dec. Christian Denny, 10-2
125 - No. 13 Ben Kjar (UVU) fall Tyler Spangler, 1:41