Wyoming dominates Air Force
Cowboys win final eight bouts, roll past Falcons
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Nine wins propelled Wyoming to its sixth consecutive dual win on Thursday as the Pokes took out the Falcons 32-6.
The Cowboys (6-2 overall, 3-0 Western Wrestling Conference) won eight consecutive matches to close out the dual to overcome an early 6-4 deficit. UW stayed unbeaten in conference action to remain atop the standings.
The action started with UW senior Chase Smith and Air Force's Carter McElhany. Smith outworked McElhany for the first two periods, scoring a takedown and getting five near-fall points for the early lead. Smith ended up with 3:42 of riding time for the 10-2 major decision and an early 4-0 lead in the team scoring. It was Smith's second-consecutive dual win.
Air Force's Cole VonOhlen then pinned junior McCade Ford at the 2:05 mark in the first period for Air Force's 6-4 lead at 149 pounds.
Redshirt freshman Andy McCulley earned his third dual victory of the season at 157 pounds, taking on Falcon Josh Kreimier. In one of the most competitive matches of the night, McCulley and Kreimier traded offense for the first two periods, with McCulley nearly earning a pin at the end of the first and third periods. McCulley ended up on top with a 16-9 decision, scoring five late points for a seven-point cushion and the 7-6 lead in the team scoring.
No. 3 Shane Onufer took on Air Force's Colby Kluesner at 165 pounds, and the Wyoming senior worked for a tough 6-1 decision. Wyoming led 10-6 after four matches and Onufer got his 22nd win of the season with the effort.
Sophomore Pat Martinez and Air Force's Clayton Gable took the mat at 174 pounds. Late offense by Gable eliminated a three-point lead for Martinez as time expired in the third, but Martinez scored a takedown just five seconds into overtime for the win. Wyoming took a 13-6 lead.
First-ranked Joe LeBlanc took care of business at 184 pounds, as the senior stuck Greg Isley to the mat at the 4:46 mark for six more team points. LeBlanc earned his eighth pin of the year and he now is tied for fifth place in UW history in falls with 36. Wyoming had a commanding 19-6 lead after six matches.
UW's eighth-ranked Alfonso Hernandez kept constant pressure on Josh Mohr at 197 pounds, and he got his eighth consecutive win as he took home an 8-2 decision.
At heavyweight, junior L.J. Helbig scored more points for UW as he stayed aggressive throughout the match versus Air Force's Jared Erickson. Helbig ended up with an impressive 7-1 decision that sealed the win for Wyoming on the scoreboard as Wyoming led 25-6 with two matches to go.
Junior Kasey Garnhart of Wyoming had an impressive showing at 125 pounds in his second dual win of the season, beating Greg Rinker in a gritty 8-6 decision.
Cowboy redshirt freshman Zach Zehner and Tyler Untrauer mixed it up in the nightcap at 133 pounds, and Zehner found his offense in the third period to earn a 9-1 major decision with late near-fall points.