Air Force Wrestlers Head to NCAA Championships
March 19, 2013
Four Air Force wrestlers will head to the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, being held in Des Moines, Iowa, this week, March 21-23. Sophomore Dylan Hyder (133) and junior Josh Kreimier (157) both head to the national tournament as West Regional champions in their respective weight classes, while freshman Josh Martinez (125) and senior captain Cole VonOhlen (149) both received automatic bids with second-place West Regional finishes.
ABOUT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS...
WATCH THE ACTION...
Fans who are unable to make it to Des Moines to see the championships in person will still be able to catch the action online and on television. The first two sessions, which will take place on Thursday, will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com. Session I is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. (CT), while Session II will start at 6:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the final four sessions are all slated to be televised. On Friday, coverage will begin at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU. Saturday's medal rounds, scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m., will also air on ESPNU, while the championship bouts, slated to start at 7:00 p.m., will be broadcast live on ESPN.
LAST YEAR AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS...
Air Force sent two competitors to the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships, with junior Cole VonOhlen making his third-straight appearance, while sophomore Josh Kreimier was a first-time NCAA qualifier. Both VonOhlen and Kreimier finished just one win shy of All-America status, advancing to the round of 12. VonOhlen, seeded third in the tournament at 149 pounds, came from behind to post a pair of wins on the first day of action, pinning Northwestern's Kaleb Friedley and scoring a 7-4 decision over Columbia's Steve Santos. However, on day two, VonOhlen dropped a pair of decisions to Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh) and Cam Tessari (Ohio State) to end his season with a 37-4 overall record.
Meanwhile, Kreimier, unseeded at 157 pounds, went 1-1 on the first day of action, opening with a 5-2 upset victory over 16th-ranked George Ivanov of Boise State before falling to eventual champion Kyle Dake of Cornell. In the consolation bracket, Kreimier posted two morning victories, earning a 10-3 decision over Lehigh's Brian Tanen and a fall over ninth-seed Justin Lister of Binghamton. Kreimier's run ended with a 6-3 loss to seventh-seed Dylan Alton of Penn State.
With their respective performances, VonOhlen and Kreimier became the first Falcons to reach the NCAA round of 12 since 2003, when Kevin Hoy finished as a national runner-up.
LAST TIME OUT...
Air Force captured fourth place at the 2013 NCAA West Regional on March 9, scoring 63.5 points to finish behind Wyoming, North Dakota State and Utah Valley. The Falcons were led by sophomore Dylan Hyder and junior Josh Kreimier, who captured individual titles at 133 and 157 pounds, respectively. Freshman Josh Martinez (125) and senior captain Cole VonOhlen (149) each finished as the runners-up in their respective weight classes, while junior Devin Hightower (184) placed third at 184 pounds.
Senior captain Cole VonOhlen, with a 25-2 overall record on the season, enters this year's NCAA Championships as the fourth seed at 149 pounds and will face Old Dominion's Alexander Richardson in his opening match. Richardson enters this week's championships with a 27-12 overall record and received an automatic bid to the national tournament after placing second at the CAA Championships.
Freshman Josh Martinez, who carries a 27-9 record on the season, enters this year's tournament as the 10th seed at 125 pounds. In his first round match-up, Martinez will face returning All-American Steve Bonnano of Hofstra, who carries a 17-10 record on the season. Bonnano earned his NCAA bid by taking first place at the CAA Championships.
Sophomore Dylan Hyder, making his first NCAA appearance after capturing the West Regional title at 133 pounds, has posted a 21-12 record on the season. Unseeded in his bracket, Hyder will face fifth-seed Christopher Dardanes of Minnesota. Dardanes, who recorded a 17-6 ledger on the season, placed fourth at the Big Ten Championships to earn his NCAA bid.
Meanwhile, junior Josh Kreimier, a two-time NCAA qualifier at 157 pounds, enters this weekend with a 27-4 overall record and is ranked 14th in the nation by Intermat. In his opening match, Kreimier will face Matt Lester of Oklahoma. Lester, who has posted a 16-8 record on the season, finished as the runner-up at the Big 12 Championships to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
This season marks the fourth NCAA appearance for senior Cole VonOhlen and second NCAA appearance for junior Josh Kreimier. VonOhlen becomes just the third wrestler in Air Force history to become a four-time NCAA participant, joining Dale Walters (`82) and Scott Frohardt (`02).
FOUR TIMES THE FALCONS...
Air Force's four NCAA qualifiers this season are the most in a single year since the 2008 season, when Jake Kriegbaum (141), Stephen Crozier (165), Tyler French (174) and Jacob Devlin (184) all represented the Falcons at the national tournament.
AF ALL-TIME ALL-AMERICANS...
This year, Cole VonOhlen, Josh Kreimier, Dylan Hyder and Josh Martinez will strive to join the ranks of such decorated individuals as Don Henderson, Terry Isaacson, Kirt Donaldson, Ken Donaldson, Bob Orwig, Terry Parham, Scott Frohardt and Kevin Hoy--Air Force's All-American wrestlers.
Among the group of eight All-Americans in Air Force history are one national champion (Henderson), three NCAA runners-up (Isaacson, Ken Donaldson and Hoy) and two multiple All-America performers (Isaacson and Hoy).