Sutter an All-American for second straight year
Athletics - posted on 3/6/2010
Lakeland senior Adam Sutter placed third at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to become an All-American for the second straight season.
The heavyweight wrapped up third place after knocking off Delaware Valley's Kyle Bilquist, the tournament's No. 2 seed and top-ranked wrestler by d3wrestle.com, with a first-period pin. Bilquist defeated Sutter at the 2009 national tournament.
Sutter, the No. 6 seed, won four consecutive matches after dropping his opener against third-seeded Dan Laurent of UW-La Crosse by a tight 2-0 decision. Laurent is the two-time defending national champion and is slated to wrestle in the finals again later tonight.
"It feels great," Sutter said. "My goal was to place higher than I did last year, with first place always the focus. Getting a pin in the first period of my final match was special. I still can't really describe how I'm feeling."
A Gladstone, Mich., native, Sutter placed sixth at the 2009 NCAA Championships to become Lakeland's second-ever All-American. His finish this year is the highest ever by a Lakeland wrestler.
"Adam really turned it on and looked great," Lakeland coach Pete Rogers said. "It's a shame he had to face (Laurent) when he did, but he just steamrolled people in the last two days to finish off a heck of a career."
Following the loss, Sutter posted consecutive victories over Joe Murphy (SUNY-Cortland), No. 7 Mitch Sander (Coe) and Jon Schmidt (UW-Whitewater) in the consolation bracket.
The win over Sander, by pin in the third period, was Sutter's second against him at the NCAAs. Schmidt had knocked off the tournament's top seed and two other qualifiers from the Great Lakes Regional prior to falling against Sutter.
Sutter bested Murphy and Schmidt by 4-0 and 8-1 decisions, respectively.
"I came out of the loss with a lot of confidence," Sutter said. "Murphy beat me in Las Vegas last year and Bilquist had beaten me at nationals, so I guess it was nice to get a little revenge on those guys."
Sutter (29-4) finishes his Lakeland career as the program's all-time wins leader. Sutter battled injuries in 2009-10, but still didn't finish outside of the top three in any tournament he competed in. He won his third consecutive Northern Wrestling Association title on Feb. 13 and placed second at the Great Lakes Regional a week later to wrap up the national tournament bid.
Sutter's NCAA appearance was the fifth by an individual in school history and marked the third time a Lakeland wrestler received All-America accolades.
For more on the 2010 NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championships, including full team and individual results, click here
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