USAFA, Colo. – The Air Force wrestling team celebrated Senior Night in style, winning a pair of duals versus New Mexico Highlands and conference foe Utah Valley. The Falcons rolled to a dominant 41-0 victory over the Cowboys to begin the evening, followed by a 24-13 win over the Wolverines to close the night.
Air Force (10-6, 1-3 WWC) got out to a quick start against New Mexico Highlands, with senior Greg Isley (Sr., Toledo, Ohio) scoring a first-period fall at 197 pounds. Classmate Cody Davis (The Woodlands, Texas) added a 5-3 decision in the heavyweight match-up, while fourth-ranked Josh Martinez (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored an 11-1 major decision at 125 pounds. Senior Greg Rinker (Northampton, Pa.) added another fall for the Falcons at 133 pounds, while freshman David Walker (St. Marys, Iowa) scored a decision at 141 pounds.
Natrelle Demison (Fr., Bakersfield, Calif.) continued Air Force’s winning streak with a 15-4 major decision at 149 pounds, while Daniel Baucke (Sr., Memphis, Tenn.) and Connor Hedash (Fr., Slatington, Pa.) added decisions at 157 and 165 pounds, respectively. Konner Witt (So., Oak Harbor, Ohio) scored the third fall of the match for Air Force at 174 pounds, while senior captain Devin Hightower (Colorado Springs, Colo.) closed out the dual with a 3-1 decision at 184 pounds.
The Falcons also had a hot start in their match against Utah Valley, winning the first five bouts of the dual. Isley won his second match of the day, scoring a close 4-3 decision, while sophomore Marcus Malecek (Hammond, Wis.) added a decision in the heavyweight bout. After picking up a forfeit victory at 125 pounds, Air Force increased its team lead to 18-0 following Rinker’s second first-period fall of the evening. Meanwhile, junior Carter McElhany (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored a come-from-behind decision at 141 pounds to push the Falcons’ advantage to 21-0.
The Wolverines finished strong in the dual, winning four of the last five bouts, beginning with a sudden victory decision at 149 pounds. Utah Valley went on to score a major decision at 157 pounds and a decision at 165 pounds, while Witt escaped with a 4-3 decision at 174 pounds. The evening ended for the Falcons with a tough last-second loss at 184 pounds.
The Falcons close out the regular season next Sunday, Feb. 23, when they visit Western Wrestling Conference rival Northern Colorado in a 1:00 p.m. dual.
Air Force 41, New Mexico Highlands 0
197 – Greg Isley (AF) fall Luis Terrazas, 1:50
285 – Cody Davis (AF) dec. Cody Marquez, 5-3
125 – No. 4 Josh Martinez (AF) maj. dec. Erick Rangel, 11-1
133 – Greg Rinker (AF) fall Tre Humphrey, 1:47
141 – Carter McElhany (AF) dec. Dan Gaylor, 5-0
149 – Natrelle Demison (AF) maj. dec. Pierce Stowman, 15-3
157 – Daniel Baucke (AF) dec. Jesse Martinez, 9-5
165 – Connor Hedash (AF) dec. Juan Alvarado, 4-1
174 – Konner Witt (AF) fall Jonathan Bechtloff, 1:32
184 – Devin Hightower (AF) dec. Igor Gomzin, 3-1
Air Force 24, Utah Valley 13
197 – Greg Isley (AF) dec. Derek Thomas, 4-3
285 – Marcus Malecek (AF) dec. Richard Larsen, 6-1
125 – No. 4 Josh Martinez (AF) win by forfeit
133 – Greg Rinker (AF) fall Chasen Tolbert, 1:28
141 – Carter McElhany (AF) dec. Avery Garner, 7-5
149 – Trevor Willson (UVU) dec. Natrelle Demison, 5-2 (SV)
157 – Chase Culbertson (UVU) maj. dec. Jerry McGinty, 10-2
165 – Logan Addis (UVU) dec. Connor Hedash, 6-5
174 – Konner Witt (AF) dec. Monte Schmalhaus, 4-3
184 – Ethan Smith (UVU) dec. Devin Hightower, 3-1
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