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UPDATE: Oregon State wins eight of 10 to stop Air Force on cold Colorado night, 32-7

Oregon State's Michael Mangrum controls Carter McIlhany of Air Force on way to a technical fall win at 141 pounds. Patricia Fox photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - On a cold and windy night in the Colorado mountains, Jim Zalesky’s Oregon State Beavers was the team that was flying high with a 32-7 victory over the host Air Force Falcons.

Oregon State came in at 2-3 ranked at No. 13 in the NWCA Coaches poll, fresh off a close loss to Pac 12 rival Boise State. Air Force had a 3-0 record coming in, with a No. 25 ranking by one of the national media outlets.

However, Air Force was without its two nationally ranked wrestlers, No. 4 senior Cole Von Ohlen at 149 and No. 10 freshman Josh Martinez at 125. Von Ohlen was banged up with injury and Martinez had a bad case of the flu.

The first match of the evening was perhaps the most competitive based upon rankings, as No. 7 R.J. Pena of Oregon State faced Josh Kreimier of Air Force, an NCAA qualifier who missed much of the early season.

Pena scored two takedowns and had over two minutes of riding time in the first period, then rode Kreimier the entire second period. Kreimeir put in the legs on top in the third and kept Pena down the whole period, but was unable to score any backpoints. The riding time point gave Pena a 5-1 win.

At 165 pounds, Jesse Stafford of Air Force scored the first takedown, then locked up a cradle for three to jump to a 5-0 lead over Alex Elder. Stafford turned Elder for another three-point near fall in the second period. A full period of riding by Stafford gave him 5:10 in riding time and a 9-0 victory.

Austin Morehead of Oregon State scored a quick pin in 25 seconds over Daniel Barringer. It seemed after the takedown, Barringer may have been dazed and not alert, and Morehead quickly scored the turn and fall.

At 184, Konner Witt of Air Force scored the first two takedowns of the match and secured riding time, for a 6-2 win over Ryan Engdahl.

Oregon State countered with two ranked wrestlers in the next two weights. No. 9 Taylor Meeks got the early advantage with two takedowns and two turns for an 8-1 lead in the first period over Josh Mohr. Meeks added a second period three-point near fall and a third period reversal for a 14-1 lead. He cut Mo hr hoping to get a technical fall with a takedown but could not score again. Riding time made it a 15-2 major decision.

No. 5 Chad Hanke of Oregon State scored takedowns in the first two periods against a game Bentley Alsup at heavyweight. The third period got a bit frantic, as an Alsup takedown with less than 20 seconds left tied the match at 4-4. Alsup cut Hanke but could not score. Hanke added riding time for a close 6-4 win.

The lightweights came next, and Oregon State put out Joey Palmer at 125 pounds against Mitch Brown, who replaced Martinez in the lineup. Palmer scored an early first period takedown and turned on his offense, jumping to a 10-2 lead after two periods. Adding two takedowns in the third and adding riding time, Palmer secured a 15-4 major decision.

Oregon State kept up the winning streak at 133, with Drew Van Anrooy scoring a 7-2 win over Dylan Hyder, with two takedowns, two escapes and 4:00 minutes of riding time.

The Beavers had ranked wrestlers in the final two matches to close the door on the dual. No. 4 Michael Mangrum got his takedown offense fired up against Carter McIlhany, who attended high school in Colorado Springs. Mangrum had three first period takedowns, then three more takedowns in the second period and a three-point cradle in the second. In the third, a takedown and a three point tilt gave Mangrum at technical fall, 21-4.

The anticipated matchup between nationally ranked athletes did not occur at 149 pounds, as No. 9 Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State ended up wrestling Von Ohlen’s backup Logan Burch. Sakaguchi had a first period takedown and three point turn, added an escape and takedown in the second period, and a takedown and three tilts in the third for a 15-4 major decision.

Both teams have tough tests later this weekend.

Oregon State, now 3-3, travels north to battle a talented Wyoming team.

“We wrestled well in some spots. There are some things as a team we have to work on. Overall, I think we came out and wrestled well for the most part. It is good to get a win, because it helps your confidence. It is always good to go into the next match after you won,” said Zalesky.

Air Force, now 3-1, hosts Northern Iowa on Sunday, along with New Mexico Highlands on Sunday.

“The team had to deal with a little adversity. I’m proud of the guys at those weights that stepped up. Those two (VonOhlen and Martinez) are pretty rock solid performers for us. Having two guys who were ready at a moment’s notice to step in and perform, that is what we need as a team. We weren’t quite ready to get it done in some matches, but some other matches we were certainly in the fight. This gives us an idea of where we are at and what we need to do to be where we want to be in March,” said Sharratt.

At Colorado Springs, Colo., January 11, 2013

157 – No. 7 R.J. Pena (Oregon State) dec. Josh Kreimier (Air Force), 5-1
165 –Jesse Stafford (Air Force) maj. dec. Alex Elder (Oregon State), 9-0
174 – Austin Morehead (Oregon State) pin Daniel Barringer (Air Force), 0:25
184 –Konner Witt (Air Force) dec. Ryan Engdahl (Oregon State), 6-2
197 – No. 9 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) maj. dec. Josh Mohr (Air Force), 15-2
285 – No. 5 Chad Hanke (Oregon State) dec. Bentley Alsup (Air Force), 6-4
125 – Joey Palmer (Oregon State) maj dec. Mitch Brown (Air Force), 15-4
133 – Drew Van Anrooy (Oregon State) dec. Dylan Hyder (Air Force), 7-2
141 – No. 4 Michael Mangrum (Oregon State) tech. fall Carter McIlhany (Air Force), 21-4
149 –No. 9 Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State) maj. dec. Logan Burch (Air Force), 15-4
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