Malecek has strong season wrestling for Air Force Academy
Former St. Croix Central athlete Marcus Malecek is now making his mark in athletics at the United States Air Force Academy.
As a sophomore, Malecek moved into the starting lineup for the Air Force wrestling team that built an 11-6 record this season in its NCAA Division I schedule. Malecek finished the season with a 16-16 record for the Falcons.
One of the shining moments for Malecek this season was at the 20th annual All-Academy Championships, where wrestlers from eight military academies across the nation compete. The meet, hosted by the Coast Guard Academy on Feb. 1, saw Malecek with the 285-pound championship. He won three matches, with all three wins coming in overtime. Malecek was seeded fourth going into the tournament.He also won the championship in the Wyoming Cowboy Open in November.Malecek might compete in the 285-pound class, but he's nowhere near that size. He is competing at 235 pounds this year after competing at 220 pounds as a freshman. Malecek had a 5-4 record as a freshman.Malecek wasn't expected to be in the Falcons' starting lineup this season, but he won a wrestle-off at the beginning of the season and didn't give up the job. His success was hampered the final weeks of the season when he competed despite dealing with a knee injury.Malecek is majoring in systems engineering. He has made the dean's list each semester and was named as an All-Western Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete last spring. Only three Air Force Academy wrestlers received that honor and Malecek was the only freshman among them.Malecek isn't the only wrestler from western Wisconsin competing for the Falcons. Parker Hines of Ellsworth was accepted to the Air Force Academy this year after attending UW-Madison last year. Hines wrestled at the weight below Malecek, 197 pounds, where he built a 13-8 record this season.