NDSU Wrestling Dominates Air Force Academy
Published: Monday, January 27, 2014
Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 14:01
There is a word in the English dictionary that means to have power over others. That word happens to be domination.
That is exactly what the NDSU wrestling team (7-3) did to the Air Force Falcons (8-4). The Bison beat Air Force 41-6 in the Western Wrestling Conference Opener on Friday, Jan. 24 at the Bison Sports Arena.
The Bison took it to the Falcons right from the start and never looked back. NDSU is on a hot streak, they have won five straight duals and they have won their last seven out of eight matches.
The dual was started out by Bison redshirt freshman Hunter Weber, winning by forfeit to give the Bison a 6-0 lead off the bat.
Unfortunately for Air Force, its top wrestler did not compete in this match against NDSU. Josh Martinez is currently ranked fifth nationally at 125 pounds.
Next up was senior Justin LaValle for the Bison and he won by decision. Bison redshirt freshman Clay Cathey and senior Tyler Diamond followed up next by beating their opponents by decisions. After the first four weight classes the Bison had a commanding lead, 15-0.
Air Force tried to make a comeback when Josh Kreimier beat Bison freshman Nick Olejnik by pin. With that pin Air Force was down 15-6.
NDSU’s first pin came from senior Steven Monk at 165-pounds. Monk is currently ranked-third nationally in his weight class. Monk claimed the pin in the second round and his winning streak was extended to 14. After Monk pinned Daniel Baucke, the Bison extending the score to 21-6. With this win, Monk’s record on the year is 21-1
Next up for the Bison was nationally tenth ranked sophomore Hayden Zillmer. Zillmer beat Konner Witt by a major decision at the 174-pound weight class. Zillmer sealed the deal for the Bison, putting his team up 25-6.
Bison junior Kurtis Julson pinned the Falcons Scott Reilly at 184-pounds to put his team up 31-6.
Tyler Lehmann made his wrestling debut for the Bison at 197-pounds and pushed the lead up even farther for the Bison. Lehmann won by pinning Parker Hines of Air Force. After the match Lehmann said, “Our team has been working really hard and once one guy gets it going we feed off each other.”
Lehmann also stated “the whole teams goal is to improve throughout the season.” Evan Knutson finished of the match against Air Force by winning by decision at 285-pounds.
“Getting those matches in against the highly ranked opponents really lets me know where I am… All that really matters is March, taking a few loses now is not a big deal to me, it gives me something to look at to improve,” Lehmann stated.
The Bison will hit the mat next in Madison, Wisc., when they take on the Wisconsin Badgers in a non-conference dual Sunday.