JACKSON, Minn. -- Shutting out all three of its dual opponents, the Air Force wrestling team opened its 2012-13 dual slate Friday at the Battle for the Planes, held at Jackson County Central High School Friday evening. The Falcons posted a 46-0 decision over Dakota Wesleyan, followed by a 54-0 victory over Northwestern College and a 36-0 win over Augustana (S.D.).
Leading the way for the Falcons on Friday were senior captain Cole VonOhlen (Jackson, Minn.) and Carter McElhany (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.), the only two Air Force wrestlers to compete in all three duals. Meanwhile, sophomore Bentley Alsup (Missoula, Mont.) also notched a 3-0 mark on Friday, winning a decision and a pair of forfeits at heavyweight.
Air Force opened the day against Dakota Wesleyan, ranked 17th in the NAIA. McElhany, VonOhlen and Devin Hightower (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) each registered falls for the Falcons at 141, 149 and 184 pounds, respectively, while freshman Mitch Brown (Payson, Utah) scored a technical fall at 125 pounds. Jesse Stafford (So., Loomis, Calif.) and Willie Baker (Fr., Jackson, Minn.) each earned major decisions, wrestling at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively, while Zach Stepan (133/Fr., Zimmerman, Minn.), Gabe Martinez (157/Sr., Falcon, Colo.) and Alsup each added decisions. Meanwhile, senior Josh Mohr (Pewaukee, Wis.) rounded out the scoring against the Tigers, winning by injury default at 197 pounds.
Against Northwestern College, Air Force recorded four falls, with Dylan Hyder (133/So., Yelm, Wash.), VonOhlen, Josh Kreimier (157/Jr., Fort Collins, Colo.) and Konner Witt (184/Fr., Oak Harbor, Ohio) all earning pins. McElhany and Jack Carda (197/So., Kimball, S.D.) each scored tech falls, while Tyler Mergen (165/Fr., Monticello, Minn.) and Dan Barringer (174/Jr., Monument, Colo.) each won major decisions. The Falcons were also awarded forfeits at 125 pounds and heavyweight.
Air Force closed out the evening with a dual versus Augustana, ranked 14th in Division II. Leading the way for the Falcons against the Vikings were Josh Martinez (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.), VonOhlen and Kreimier, wrestling at 125, 149 and 165 pounds, respectively. Hyder, McElhany, Gabe Martinez, Baker, Witt and Mohr all added decisions, while Alsup won by forfeit in the heavyweight match.
Friday's event marked a special homecoming for VonOhlen, a Jackson County Central High School graduate who was honored before the Falcons' final dual of the evening. A three-time NCAA qualifier for the Falcons and currently ranked eighth in the nation, VonOhlen was a two-time state champion and three-time state finalist for the Huskies.
The Falcons have the rest of December off of competition before returning to action Jan. 1-2 at the Southern Scuffle, hosted by Chattanooga.
Air Force 46, Dakota Wesleyan 0
125 - Mitch Brown (AF) tech fall Zach Nelson, 18-1 (3:52)
133 - Zach Stepan (AF) dec. Richard Rios, 5-2
141 - Carter McElhany (AF) fall Karl Bell, 2:46
149 - No. 8 Cole VonOhlen (AF) fall Dusty Paulsen, 2:41
157 - Gabe Martinez (AF) dec. Trever DeVestern, 8-2
165 - Jesse Stafford (AF) maj. dec. Kyle Gerlach, 12-2
174 - Willie Baker (AF) maj. dec. Dominic Smothers, 13-4
184 - Devin Hightower (AF) fall Kyle Hoisington, 6:06
197 - Josh Mohr (AF) inj. def. Jade Hoisington
285 - Bentley Alsup (AF) dec. Eric Gruis, 6-0
Air Force 54, Northwestern College 0
125 - Josh Martinez (AF) win by forfeit
133 - Dylan Hyder (AF) fall Ricky Ortiz, 3:56
141 - Carter McElhany (AF) tech fall Jon Grevengoed, 18-3
149 - No. 8 Cole VonOhlen (AF) fall Steven Schaffer, 1:51
157 - No. 15 Josh Kreimier (AF) fall Jason Swets, 2:59
165 - Tyler Mergen (AF) maj. dec. Tyler Schaefer, 15-3
174 - Dan Barringer (AF) maj. dec. Randy Null, 15-4
184 - Konner Witt (AF) fall Aaron Ruskell, 1:31
197 - Jack Carda (AF) tech fall Forrest Marx, 18-3 (7:00)
285 - Bentley Alsup (AF) win by forfeit
Air Force 36, Augustana (S.D.) 0
125 - Josh Martinez (AF) maj. dec. TJ North, 9-1
133 - Dylan Hyder (AF) dec. Jeremiah Peterson, 11-4
141 - Carter McElhany (AF) dec. Zach Frederich, 5-2
149 - No. 8 Cole VonOhlen (AF) maj. dec. Nate Herda, 12-4
157 - Gabe Martinez (AF) dec. Shawn Hatlestad, 9-3
165 - Josh Kreimier (AF) maj. dec. Parker Swanson, 9-1
174 - Willie Baker (AF) dec. Tim Weber, 3-1
184 - Konner Witt (AF) dec. Sean Derry, 4-0
197 - Josh Mohr (AF) dec. Jayd Docken, 3-1
285 - Bentley Alsup (AF) win by forfeit