Air Force 41, South Dakota State 5; Western State 25, South Dakota State 11

The South Dakota State wrestling team suffered weekend setbacks at Air Force and versus Western State.

SDSU was downed in the weekend opener at Air Force 41-5 and topped in the closer versus Western State 25-11.

SDSU JackrabbitsIn the weekend opener, Air Force won the first three matches of Sunday’s dual, built a 13-0 lead and SDSU was unable to recover in its second Western Wrestling Conference bout.

In the opening match at 125 pounds, Aaron Pickrel faced Josh Martinez. Martinez is nationally ranked by Intermat (11), Gregg Henry’s/Wrestling Report (11) and the NCAA coaches’ panel rankings (10). Pickrel wrestled tough, but allowed a late takedown, which pushed Martinez’s decision to a 12-4 major decision.

Brance Simms wrestled Dylan Hyder at 133. Hyder built an early lead and Simms was unable to comeback and lost a 10-3 decision.

At 141 pounds, Ben Gillette took on Carter McElhany. McElhany scored a pin in the second period to put the Jacks in a 13-0 hole after three matches.

The lone bright spot for the Jackrabbits was the ever-consistent performance of Dustin Walraven. Walraven lined up versus Logan Burch, as Air Force deviated from its probable starters (No. 4 Cole VonOhlen). Walraven made the most of his opportunity, built a big lead and closed out Burch with a 19-4, third-period tech fall.

In the 157-pound match, Cody Pack faced Josh Kreimier, who is ranked by Gregg Henry’s/Wrestling Report (22) and the NCAA coaches’ panel rankings (23). After two tough periods, Kreimier added another pin to the Air Force lead.

Joe Brewster squared off versus Jesse Stafford at 165. Brewster kept it close, but Stafford notched a 9-5 decision and pushed the Falcons’ lead to 22-5.

At 174, John Nething II faced Dan Barringer. Barringer built a lead and held on for a 13-4 major decision for the third-straight Air Force win.

In the 184-pound match, Shea Nolan wrestled Devin Hightower. The match was all Hightower, who built a big lead through two periods and closed out the match in the third with a 15-0 tech fall.

Air Force extended its lead at 197, as Josh Mohr notched a 14-0 major decision versus Joe Skow. Mohr was the final Falcons’ wrestler ranked by any wrestling publication (No. 32, Gregg Henry’s/Wrestling Report).

The Falcons closed out the dual with a pin at 285 by Bentley Alsup versus J.J. Everard.

The loss dropped the Jacks to 4-7 overall, 0-2 WWC.

Air Force 41, South Dakota State 5
125 – Josh Martinez (Air Force) major decision Aaron Pickrel, 12-4 (AF 4-0)
133 – Dylan Hyder (Air Force) decision Brance Simms, 10-3 (AF 7-0)
141 – Carter McElhany (Air Force) pin Ben Gillette, 4:16 (AF 13-0)
149 – Dustin Walraven tech fall Logan Burch (Air Force), 19-4 (6:03) (AF 13-5)
157 – Josh Kreimier (Air Force) pin Cody Pack, 6:10 (AF 19-5)
165 – Jesse Stafford (Air Force) decision Joe Brewster, 9-5 (AF 22-5)
174 – Dan Barringer (Air Force) major decision John Nething II, 13-4 (AF 26-5)
184 – Devin Hightower (Air Force) tech fall Shea Nolan, 15-0 (7:00) (AF 31-5)
197 – Josh Mohr (Air Force) major decision Joe Skow, 14-0 (AF 35-5)
285 – Bentley Alsup (Air Force) pin J.J. Everard, 3:45 (AF wins 41-5)

In the closing dual, SDSU was downed by Western State 25-11.

In the opening match at 125 pounds, Aaron Pickrel scored a narrow 3-1 decision to put the Jacks on top early.

Brance Simms followed Pickrel’s performance with a tight match at 133 pounds, as well. Simms secured a 5-4 decision and added to SDSU’s lead.

Western State found the scoreboard at 141 with a 14-7 decision.

At 149 pounds, Dustin Walraven led 4-1 with riding time advantage, but was forced to injury default. The result put the Mountaineers on top for the first time.

Cody Pack put the Jacks back on track at 157 with a dominant 18-2 tech fall.

But after that SDSU win, Western State went on a run. One match later at 165 pounds, Western State added to its total with a 7-5 decision. The Mountaineers added a major decision from its nationally ranked wrestler at 174 and another decision at 184.

The three-match winning streak pushed the Western State lead to 19-11 and backed SDSU into a must-win corner with two matches remaining.

But the Mountaineers sealed the dual one match later with a 4-3 decision at 197.

In the closing match, Western State added another decision to its dual total for a 25-11 win.

The weekend setbacks dropped SDSU’s record to 4-8 overall, 0-2 WWC.

Next up the Jacks return home for five-straight duals, beginning with former WWC foe Northern Iowa on Feb. 1. Dual time is set for 7 p.m. on Friday in Frost Arena.

The Panthers left the WWC prior to this season and joined the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

Western State 25, South Dakota State 11
125 – Aaron Pickrel decision Dustin Stiegemeyer (Western State), 3-1 (SDSU 3-0)
133 – Brance Simms decision CJ York (Western State), 5-4 (SDSU 6-0)
141 – Cody Cole (Western State) decision Ben Gillette, 14-7 (SDSU 6-3)
149 – Brandon Montoya (Western State) injury default Dustin Walraven, INJ (WS 9-6)
157 – Cody Pack tech fall Andy Fontenot (Western State), 18-2 (SDSU 11-9)
165 – Austin Harris (Western State) decision Joe Brewster, 7-5 (WS 12-11)
174 – No. 2 Elliot Copeland (Western State) major decision John Nething II, 19-7 (WS 16-11)
184 – Kyle Piatt (Western State) decision Shea Nolan, 12-6 (WS 19-11)
197 – Sam Mangum (Western State) decision Joe Skow, 4-3 (WS 22-11)
285 – Kyle Graulus (Western State) decision J.J. Everard, 5-3 (WS wins 25-11)