Sutter becomes Lakeland's second-ever All-American
Athletics - posted on 3/6/2009
Lakeland junior Adam Sutter became the second All-American wrestler in school history Saturday after finishing sixth in the 285-pound bracket at the two-day NCAA Division III National Championships at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
"Sutter wrestled his heart out," Lakeland coach Pete Rogers said. "The coaching staff and everyone are so excited for him. This is a huge thing for the younger guys in our program to witness, so hopefully it opens the flood gates a little bit for the future."
Senior Jonas Flok, who qualified for the national tournament at 157 pounds after placing second in the Great Lakes Regional, was knocked out after finishing 0-2 on Friday.
Sutter, a Gladstone, Mich., native, clinched All-American standing after winning his second match in the wrestleback bracket. He became the Muskies' first All-American since Lee Kadinger (165 pounds) finished sixth in 2002.
"It feels great, like all the hard work has finally paid off," said
Sutter, who received an at-large berth into the tournament after finishing third in the Great Lakes Regional. "Going into the All-American match, I felt like it was very winnable. I told myself that this was it - either I would win and become an All-American, or I would lose and be done. That helped me find the drive I needed."
After losing his first match in a 3-0 decision against No. 4 Glenn Geesman of MIT, the unseeded Sutter won three consecutive bouts, including a victory by fall at 6:25 over seventh-seeded Mitch Sander of Coe.
"Sutter pinned a stud from Coe, which made it his second pin in the tournament, which is excellent," Rogers said. "He was winning by a point, did the right thing and got the kid on his back."
Sutter (32-10) was then knocked off by Del Valley's Kyle Bilquist, the division's No. 1 seed, in a 7-0 decision in the semifinals. In the fifth place match, Sutter fell in a 3-2 heartbreaker to eighth-seeded Andrew Witzel of Augsburg.
All three 285-pound wrestlers who qualified from the Great Lakes Regional finished in the top eight of the bracket, and are All-Americans.
Following a disappointing 2007-08 campaign, in which Sutter defeated four of the eight eventual All-Americans but failed to qualify for nationals, the heavyweight redeemed himself in 2008-09 with a fantastic showing and a place in Muskie wrestling history.
"Pete puts together a tough schedule every year, and it paid off," Sutter said. "It feels good to represent Lakeland and the region, and it showed people that my wild card was well-deserved. Hopefully, this will help future Lakeland wrestlers get the nod because of our reputation."
Flok, who was also unseeded, ended his season with a 27-13 record, including 17 pins, after bowing out of competition in his second match.
In his first match, the Egg Harbor native was defeated in a 9-3 decision against Olivet's Jason Brew, the bracket's No. 2 seed. Brew would go on to advance to the 157-pound finals bout.
Flok's opening loss set up a rematch of a Great Lakes Regional semifinal against St. John's Matt Baarson, the division's seventh seed. Flok defeated Baarson twice this season, but was knocked off 14-5 in the opening round of the wrestleback bracket.
"Things just didn't pan out for Jonas this weekend," Rogers said. "He came so far during his career. When he came in as a freshman, qualifying for the national tournament wasn't even on his radar screen. He came an awfully long way, and he's still a top 16 wrestler in the nation."
For more information on the 2009 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, including team standings and full brackets, click here
Share This Story Help
Lakeland offers links to several popular social bookmarking services. These links help you share stories with other people or create bookmarks for future reference. The services are free, but they require a personal account. Click for more information on social bookmarking
<< Return to News