Sutter confident heading into national tournament
Athletics - posted on 3/3/2010
It's a little different the second time around for Lakeland wrestler Adam Sutter.
Sutter, a senior heavyweight, will compete in the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament for his second straight appearance in the national championship this Friday and Saturday, March 5-6, at U.S. Cellular Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
In 2009, Sutter became the school's second-ever All-American after finishing sixth in his bracket, giving the Muskies a 21st-place finish in the nation. He admits heading into last year's championship with a different approach and mindset.
"It was cool to be there at first," Sutter said. "It was huge with all these wrestlers and a big arena and everything. I didn't know what to expect having the No. 2 seed right away and coming in unseeded last year. It was really kind of an eye-opener."
The Gladstone, Mich., native punched his second straight ticket to nationals with a runner-up finish at the Great Lakes Regional on Feb. 20 in Minneapolis, Minn. He knocked off Augsburg's Andrew Witzel, who had defeated Sutter last year in both regional and national competition, in the semifinals. His only defeat of the tournament came in the next match against Elmhurst's Mark Corsello, the nation's No. 2 wrestler according to d3wrestle.com, in the finals.
Sutter, who received the No. 6 seed in the national tournament, enters competition with a gaudy 25-3 record and a confidence he said he didn't have last season.
"Last year, I was kind of grateful that they gave me a shot to go," said
Sutter, who received a wild card qualifier last season. "I figured I'm just going to go and see what happens. This year, I think having done what I did last year and wrestling the way I have this year against higher-level wrestlers, I really think I can beat anybody in Division III at this tournament."
He also has the confidence of his coaches, namely Pete Rogers, who in his nine years at the helm has seen four different Lakeland wrestlers head to the national tournament.
"His confidence makes me confident, because he knows his body really well," Rogers said. "If he feels he's in the right frame of mind, I do too. He's pretty smart in that way. He has the same goals … and wants to do as well as he can."
With a first-round bye, Sutter will take on the winner of the match between third-seeded Dan Laurent of UW-La Crosse and Brock Glotfelty, who is unseeded, out of McDaniel (Md.).
According to Sutter, Laurent, the two-time defending national champion, has won two of the three matches between the two. Sutter last defeated Laurent during the 2007-08 season, his sophomore year. Sutter has yet to face Glotfelty, a qualifier by virtue of winning the Centennial Conference Tournament.
Both Sutter and Rogers believe the heavyweight division is as wide open as any in the tournament, as all eight All-Americans from the 2008-09 season return to competition.
"Anything is attainable because everyone in the heavyweight division has beaten each other before," Rogers said. "I'm excited that he's capable of doing anything. The No. 1 thing for him is to be an All-American. After that, he'll try and place as high as he can."
To view the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships website, click here
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