Air Force wins 2 gold, 3 silver at wrestling championships

  • Published
  • By Shannon Carabajal
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs
Air Force wrestlers took home five medals, including two gold, at the 2015 Armed Forces Wrestling Championships, March 27-28 at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Teams from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps competed in Greco-Roman and freestyle competitions at the post’s special events center. As a team, the Air Force placed third in both events.

“Our team did great this year,” said head coach Floyd Winters. “We had a good training camp, focusing on technique and conditioning, and performed well at Fort Carson. The Armed Forces Championships is a tough tournament and our wrestlers competed against all-American and Olympic athletes; if you win a medal here, you’re pretty good.”

The Air Force earned three medals in the freestyle competition. Cole VonOhlen, from Colorado Springs, and Eric Lapotsky, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, earned gold in their weight divisions while Tyler Westlund, from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, earned silver.

In the Greco-Roman event on March 27, Lapotsky and Sherwin Severin, from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington D.C., each earned silver in their divisions. In addition to earning medals, Lapotsky, Sherwin and VanOhlen qualified for the World Games scheduled for Oct. 2-11 in South Korea.

“Placing here and qualifying for the World Games is exceptional; we haven’t earned five medals in many years,” Winters said. “We’re going against guys, the Army and Marines, who train all year. Our team was only together a month before the tournament so I’m really proud of the team.”

The team’s next competition is the national championship tournament in Las Vegas May 4–9. They will train with the Army at Fort Carson to prepare for the event.

Air Force Wrestling is part of the service’s sports program designed to encourage competition, camaraderie, unit cohesion and develop athletes’ skills. The program includes base-level intramural and extramural competitions, as well as training camps and competitions at regional, national and international sporting events.

“The program gives highly skilled athletes an opportunity to challenge themselves with higher levels of competition,” said Steve Brown, the Air Force Sports chief. “Training camps are short, but physically demanding, mentally challenging and highly competitive. The final team represents the Air Force at Armed Forces or national competitions; participants are also considered for selection to combined Armed Forces teams that represent the U.S. at international military world championships.”